More than likely you know someone who has diabetes. I know someone who is four years old and someone who is 83 years old that has it – which shows that this is a disease that can hit just about anyone, no matter what their age. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released a 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet that shows that 25.8 million people are affected by diabetes – which is 8.3% of the U.S. population. With statistics like this, it is pertinent that we understand what diabetes is and find out if we could be at risk so that we can possibly stop this disease from growing so rapidly.
Just exactly what is diabetes? According to WebMd,
Diabetes, the most common disorder of the endocrine (hormone) system, occurs when blood sugar levels in the body consistently stay above normal…Diabetes is a disease brought on by either the body’s inability to make insulin (type 1 diabetes) or by the body not responding to the effects of insulin (type 2 diabetes). It can also appear during pregnancy. Insulin is one of the main hormones that regulates blood sugar levels and allows the body to use sugar (called glucose) for energy.
The CDC states that more than one-quarter of people with type 2 diabetes do not know they have the disease. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type with almost 18 million people being affected by it. You are of higher risk of getting the disease if you are obese, age 45 or older, have a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes, had gestational diabetes or not physically active. Type 2 diabetes mainly affects adults and can lead to such results as blindness, amputations and chronic kidney failure.
With such high numbers of people being affected and the terrible conditions type 2 diabetes can lead to, it is vital that we educate ourselves and learn about the disease. We should find out if any close family members have the disease and if we may be at risk. It is a good idea to talk to your doctor about your family health history. By doing this, you may find out if you are at risk and you may be able to help prevent the disease from starting if you catch the early symptoms and are able to change your lifestyle. My grandfather had the early warning signs of type 2 diabetes. His doctor advised him that he needed to change his diet and begin to exercise on a daily basis, otherwise, he may get the disease. My grandfather did not change his ways since he had been set in his ways with bad eating habits and by never exercising. The doctor gave harsh warnings for the next few checkups…and two years later, my grandfather was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Now he has changed …but it is too late since the damage has been done. By listening to your doctor, and taking the actions they suggest, you may be able to prevent this disease or even be able to possibly stop it.
The CDC has provided detailed information about type 2 diabetes and there is a test you can take to see if you are at risk. Make sure to take that quick test and see what suggestions they have if you have a high score of being at risk. We are fortunate to have great resources at our fingertips, such as the CDC, which has taken the time to put together valuable information for us on diabetes. Make sure to visit the CDC to learn more about diabetes .
Please take the time to evaluate your current health condition – if you think you may be at risk or have any of the symptoms – talk to your doctor and see what steps you can take to help stop this disease from taking over your life and possibly causing you serious health complications down the road.