Diabetes has become one of the most common health risks over the past decade.
There are currently more than 29 million people in the U.S. with diabetes – a 50% increase over the past 10 years. According to the World Health Organization, that number is expected to double by the year 2030.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes occurs when the body is unable to regulate glucose (blood sugar).
In healthy individuals, the pancreas releases insulin as the body turns food into glucose. Insulin helps convert the glucose to energy.
In diabetics, the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or the body doesn’t use insulin effectively, so glucose builds up in the blood stream. Over time, this build-up can lead to serious health problems, including heart disease, kidney disease and vision loss.
Type 1 Diabetes
In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas doesn’t make insulin at all. Type 1 diabetes is most often diagnosed in childhood, but it can develop at any age. A viral illness that damages the pancreas can cause this condition in adults.
People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin to maintain a normal blood glucose level.
In type 2 diabetes, the body doesn’t make enough insulin or use insulin effectively.
Medication can help control blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics, but physicians encourage healthy lifestyle choices, too. Through diet and exercise, many patients are able to reverse their type 2 diabetes.
If you have diabetes, take advantage of our free Diabetes Education Program and monthly Diabetes Support Group.