Everything You Need to Know About Diabetes
Did you know over of 2,323,220 Texans suffer from diabetes? This means about 12.2% of adults across the state have this chronic disease. Additionally, approximately 23.8% of people who have diabetes were not aware of it prior to seeing a doctor. This chronic disease can lead to illness, pain, and even death. It’s important to know the facts!
Diabetes is a chronic disease in which your blood sugar is too high. This means your body can’t turn sugar into energy in your blood stream. Insulin is a natural substance your body makes to help you use that sugar for energy, but when your body doesn’t make enough insulin, the sugar stays in your blood and you develop diabetes.
There are three types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes, which can occur during pregnancy.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when your body’s immune system destroys the cells that make insulin. This condition is considered an autoimmune disease. If you have Type 1 diabetes, you must self-monitor glucose levels and take insulin regularly in order to stay alive. Usually diagnosed at an early age, it’s often referred to as “juvenile diabetes” when confirmed in children. It’s not typically linked to obesity or inactivity.
Type 2 diabetes is when your body can create insulin, but it doesn’t make enough of it or use it effectively. This is often considered a metabolic disorder. Type 2 is diagnosed most commonly in adults, and is more common than Type 1. Some people with Type 2 diabetes may experience sores that heal slowly or are frequently infected.
There are no distinct symptoms of either type of diabetes, however, Type 1 usually appears in children, and some people with Type 2 diabetes may experience sores that heal slowly or are frequently infected. A true diagnosis comes from routine blood tests, and some similar symptoms for both types include:
- Weight loss
- Excessive thirst
- Extreme hunger
- Frequent urination
- Mood changes
- Blurred vision
*Note: These symptoms are not just signs of diabetes, but often signs of other conditions or diseases as well. If you’re experiencing these symptoms and are concerned, please make an appointment with your doctor.
Type 1 diabetes isn’t preventable; however, Type 2 is. Type 2 diabetes is also reversible!
There are several ways to prevent and reverse Type 2 diabetes, including:
- Eat smaller portions
- Avoid sugary drinks
- Reduce dairy intake
- Eat more nuts
- Drink more water
- Eat low glycemic index foods
- Cut back on fried foods
- Eat lean protein and less red meat
- Eat more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
If you’ve been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or have a metabolic syndrome, use the above tips as a way to start preventing the onset of Type 2. At It’s Time Texas, we support and believe in anyone struggling with a chronic disease or anyone who wants to simply make incremental health changes. Join our Community Challenge to stay motivated in healthy living, and talk to our telehealth coaches for more resources and information!