It’s National Diabetes Awareness Month, Here’s What You Should Know
November is diabetes awareness month, and it’s time we all broaden our understanding of a disease that affects over 29 million Americans. Do you know someone who has diabetes? If so, do you know which type they are affected by? Because Type 1 and Type 2 are quite different.
Here are the most important, quick and easy facts you need to know about diabetes:
- What is diabetes? Diabetes is a disease in which the body cannot properly process sugar in food to use as energy. Glucose, a form of sugar, backs up in the bloodstream because it is not used as energy. This causes a person's blood sugar level to rise.
- What is Type 1 diabetes? Type 1 diabetes is when the body completely stops producing insulin. Insulin allows the body to use the sugar found in foods as energy. Type 1 commonly develops in children or young adults. These people must take daily insulin shots to survive. There is nothing you can do to prevent Type 1 diabetes.
- What is Type 2 diabetes? Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or is unable to produce insulin properly. Roughly 90-95% of people who suffer from diabetes have Type 2. Type 2 generally affects people who are over 40-years-old and are overweight. Although, people who are not overweight can also develop the disease. Most people with Type 2 diabetes can manage with a combination of healthy meals and physical activity.
- What are symptoms of diabetes? People with diabetes frequently experience these symptoms: being very thirsty, frequent urination, weight loss, increased hunger, blurry vision, tingling or numbness in the hands or feet and wounds that don’t heal.
- What complications can arise from diabetes? When blood sugar levels aren’t properly maintained over a period of time complications can occur. It is important to keep blood sugar as normal as possible. If blood sugar isn't properly maintained the person may experience, heart attacks, strokes, blindness, kidney failure, blood vessel disease which could require an amputation, nerve damage and even impotence in men.