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How Much Do You Know About Diabetes?

There are a few variations of diabetes, Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes. Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States.

Type 1 diabetes is characterized by having abnormally high blood sugar levels. With Type 1 diabetes, your cells stop producing insulin. Your bodies insulin determines the amount of glucose that is converted into energy. Type 1 diabetes commonly starts in adolescence, but can develop at any age. Type 1 diabetes affects 10-20 per 100,000 people each year in the United States alone. Approximately 30.3 million people in the United States have diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common variation of diabetes. In Type 2 diabetes your body is insulin resistant. When your body becomes insulin resistant two major issues arise. The first issue is that the cells become starved for energy. The second issue being that the high glucose levels in your body will lead to complications with your kidneys, nerves, eyes and heart. Gestational diabetes is the development of diabetes during pregnancy. Once the baby is born the diabetes typically goes away.

Risk Factors Associated with Diabetes

Smoking: 15.9% of adults diagnosed with diabetes are current smokers. 34.5% of adults diagnosed with diabetes had a strong history of smoking.

Obesity: 87.5% of adults diagnosed with diabetes were overweight or obese.

Physical Inactivity: 40.8% of adults diagnosed with diabetes were physically inactive.

High Blood Pressure: 73.6% of adults diagnosed with diabetes had either systolic blood pressure above 140 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure above 90 mm Hg.

Age: Type 2 diabetes risk increases as you age. The risk drastically increases after the age of 45.

Race: African AMericans, Asian-Americans, Hispanics and AMerican Indians are the races with the highest risk of developing diabetes.

Symptoms of Diabetes

  • Itchy Skin

  • Hunger

  • Fatigue

  • Dry Mouth

  • Blurred Vision

  • Urinating frequently

  • Infections & slow healing wounds

What happens when diabetes goes undiagnosed?

Nerve Damage: The blood vessels that nourish nerves can become injured from the excess sugar in your body due to diabetes. These nerves can eventually cause the loss of feeling in the affected limbs.

Heart Disease: Diabetes significantly affects the Heart in terms of chest pain, stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, and the narrowing of arteries. All these outcomes are directly linked to the development of Coronary Artery Disease.

Kidney Damage: The Kidneys job is to filter waste out of your body. When you have diabetes, the kidneys filtering system becomes damaged. In more severe cases the damage done to the kidney can lead to kidney failure.

Eye Damage: Diabetes affects the eyes by damaging the blood vessels of the retina. This damage can eventually lead to complete blindness.

Alzheimer’s Disease: When you have diabetes, it is difficult to control your blood sugar levels. Though it is still in review, there have been certain cases where diabetes has led to Alzheimer’s Disease.


Preventing Diabetes

    Healthy Diet

Enjoying a diet full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains can significantly reduce your chances of developing diabetes.

Common mistakes of healthy eating:

Of the biggest misconceptions of healthy eating is prepackaged weight loss products. This includes bottled juices, shakes, protein bars, and flavored yogurts. These items may advertise that they are healthy but are actually processed and high in calories.

These items are often not filling leading to you eating another meal.

There are certain foods that contain vitamins, fiber, and minerals, these “superfoods” are:

  • Beans- Black beans, navy beans and pinto beans. Avoid refried beans.

  • Dark leafy green vegetables- Kale, spinach, and collard greens.

  • Citrus fruit- Oranges and grapefruits. Grapefruits are a fat burner.

  • Sweet potatoes- they are full of fiber and vitamin A.

  • Berries- Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries. Berries are helpful in satisfying a sweet tooth craving.

  • Tomatoes- roma, heirloom and plum tomatoes.


    Physical activity

Working out at least 30 minutes per day can reduce the risk factors associated with developing diabetes.

It is highly recommended that you get up from your desk at least once and hour, even if you are taking steps at your desk or go for a two minute walk. One way to increase blood flow throughout the day is to add physical activity to your day by stretching while at your desk. Simple stretching can improve circulation and improve your mood while at work.

For more information please go to desk stretches

     Treatment for diabetes

  • Medication

  • Insulin Therapy

  • Bariatric Surgery

Care, for all aspects of life

Call or come into your local CareCube today to learn how we can help you!