By Momivate's "Energy" CouncilMom, Ericka Moore
According to the CDC, “34.2 million US adults have diabetes, and 1 in 5 of them don’t even know they have it. In the last 20 years, adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled.” These statistics are sobering and should serve as a call to action to improve our health.
What is diabetes?
The CDC notes it is “a chronic condition that affects how your body turns food into energy.” It is apparent because blood glucose or blood sugar when measured is too high. Glucose is a source of energy from food. When your body needs to break it down, insulin (a hormone) is secreted from your pancreas and allows the glucose to get into your cells to use for energy. If your body does not utilize insulin well (or does not make enough), sugar stays in the bloodstream instead of going to the cells leading to a plethora of health issues. These health issues include: heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye problems, dental disease, nerve damage and foot problems.
An individual can be diagnosed as:
Prediabetes is “when blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.” (CDC). This diagnosis can be turned around through a healthy diet and lifestyle change.
If diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to work with your healthcare provider in order to establish an effective healthcare plan which may include medication. Lifestyle changes such as increasing daily activity (exercising), quitting smoking, losing weight, and choosing a healthy diet with fruit and veggies and minimal processed foods are keys to success.
Also, knowing your ABCs is vital to maintaining your health when diagnosed with diabetes:
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