Diabetes is a disease where there are high levels of sugar in the blood. Diabetes affects more than 20 million Americans and over 40 million Americans have pre-diabetes (early type 2 diabetes).
Chronic or long-term high blood sugars can lead to serious health problems including:
- Eye problems/Blindness
- Non-healing sores that can lead to infection or even amputation
- Complications of high blood pressure and increased risk of heart attack
- Nerve damage causing pain and tingling
- Kidney damage
There are three major types of diabetes. The causes and risk factors are different for each type:
- Type 1 Diabetes can occur at any age, but most often diagnosed at a young age. In this disease the body makes little or no insulin. Daily insulin injections are required. The exact cause is unknown.
- Type 2 Diabetes makes up most of the diabetes cases. It often occurs in adulthood and often in those who are overweight or obese and live a sedentary lifestyle.
- Gestational Diabetes is high blood sugar that develops at any time during pregnancy.
High blood sugar levels can cause several symptoms including:
- Blurry Vision
- Excess Thirst
- Frequent Urination
- Weight Loss
BECAUSE TYPE 2 DIABETES DEVELOPS SLOWLY, SOME PEOPLE WITH HIGH BLOOD SUGAR HAVE NO SYMPTOMS!
Call your doctor if you have the symptoms listed above.
Specific treatment for each type of diabetes differs, but ALL diabetics must follow and adhere to a nutritious well-balanced carbohydrate-controlled diet and exercise routinely several times per week.
Food choices should include a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meats including beef, chicken and seafood. Foods that are processed and high in sugar and fat should be avoided. All individuals should drink eight glasses of water per day to keep the body well hydrated. Avoid fast foods and foods that are high in sodium (salt).
Exercise should include approximately 30 minutes per day five times per week of aerobic-type exercises such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming.
Maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise routine is extremely beneficial to your health and well-being.