Diabetes is a growing problem in the US, as almost 8% of the total US population battles it. Many more people, especially younger individuals, are developing it presently than in the past; this is very alarming. Diabetes is characterized by high blood concentrations of glucose and the absence or malfunction of insulin. Insulin is required for glucose to get into your cells. It is a common misconception that diabetes is caused by high sugar intake; this is false. There are two primary types of diabetes:

  1. Type 1: This was previously known as Juvenile Diabetes. It is characterized by the pancreas’ inability to make insulin; therefore, insulin injections are required. Individuals normally develop this in childhood as a result of genetics or from damage or infection to the pancreas, rendering it malfunctioning.
  2. Type 2: This type of diabetes makes up about 95% of all diabetes cases. It is characterized by the lack of enough insulin in the body or the body’s inability to use insulin properly. Some individuals with type 2 diabetes require insulin injections or medications, but not all. The majority of individuals develop this because of poor diet and physical inactivity.

Being familiar of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes can help you to prevent yourself from becoming diabetic. Overweight or obesity is the leading cause of diabetes; this explains why both obesity and diabetes rates are rising in the US. Obesity is triggered as a result of poor diet and physical inactivity, both which are also risk factors. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and family history of diabetes can also contribute to increased risks for it.

Diabetes can be life-threatening. It is a very serious disease with devastating consequences; therefore, it is important for you to control the risk factors you can to decrease your chances in obtaining it. Diabetes can lead to blindness, amputation of body parts (especially of the lower body), heart disease, and kidney disease, as well as many other serious complications. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, these side effects can be decreased or eliminated if you control your blood glucose levels well. Well-controlled levels take much time, effort, and responsibility, but the persistence is much worth it.

If you are at risk for diabetes, it is important to get your blood glucose levels checked frequently, so that you are able to make dietary and exercise changes as needed. Also, if you have signs or symptoms of diabetes, it is important to seek help from a health professional. Some signs and symptoms of it are fatigue, frequent urination, increased hunger, unusual weight loss, and excessive thirst. The earlier diabetes is diagnosed, the quicker action can be taken to control it, and the lower the chance that you may experience its’ devastating side effects. So, take control of your blood glucose today! Get it checked regularly, consume a healthy, well-balanced diet, and exercise regularly!


American Diabetes Association

Center for Disease Control

National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse


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