By Diane Hwang
Diabetes is a condition whereby your blood sugar levels are higher than normal. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with diabetes, you likely have plenty of questions. Knowing more about your diagnosis can change your life. Before you start firing your doctor with questions, here's some information to satisfy your thirst for information about diabetes.
What are the Different Types of Diabetes?
You’ve probably heard of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, but perhaps aren’t sure exactly what causes them and how they’re different from one another. Type 1 diabetes is a disease that causes the body to stop producing insulin altogether. Children and adolescents are most at-risk and require daily insulin. Type 2 diabetes can occur when the body isn’t making enough insulin to address the body’s needs. Adults over 45 are most at risk.
Adding on, there is actually a third type of diabetes — prediabetes — that affects over one in three Americans. There’s also gestational diabetes that occurs only during pregnancy and frequently goes away after childbirth.
With the right diabetes information, you can decide whether you might need to go for testing and start to take some proactive measures. In many cases, changing your diet and lifestyle now could prevent a diabetes diagnosis in the future.
You’re Not Fighting This Alone
Over 34 million people in the US have been diagnosed with diabetes, and more than 88 million have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes. Women who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy will have an elevated risk for Type 2 diabetes following the birth of their child.
Does Exercise Prevent Type 2 Diabetes?
The answer is - Yes! You might be glad to know that Type 2 diabetes is preventable. The risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include heredity diabetes, being overweight, and having a sedentary lifestyle. Maintaining good health through a diet rich in lean protein, vegetables, and whole grains and striving for 30 minutes of activity every day can significantly reduce a person’s odds of developing Type 2 diabetes.
What to Do if You Have a Family History of Diabetes
If you have a family history of diabetes and think you may be at risk for diabetes or pre-diabetes, speak to your doctor during your annual wellness exam. Your doctor can evaluate your concerns and current medical condition and provide advice for staying healthy.
If you or a family member has recently received a diagnosis of diabetes, it’s essential to know that through managing your health, living a full, long life is possible. Committing to a moderate exercise routine and working with your doctor to follow a weight loss or weight maintenance plan can help to reduce symptoms and the complications that often result from diabetes. Remember, the sooner you speak with your doctor to determine your risks and current health condition, the better chance you’ll have for good health.
Your Ally in Managing Diabetes
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