Monday, February 15, 2010

Diabetes a Big Problem

Almost 23.6 million people have diabetes in America; ergo, practically everyone knows someone with this disease. Only about 17.9 million people are diagnosed. 5.7 million people have diabetes and are unaware.

There are three different, vary distinct types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. All types of diabetes have one or more health consequences including heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, adult-onset blindness, lower-limb amputations, or gum disease. Diabetes occurs when too much suger travels through the body because there are not enough cells to absorb it. Even though sugar is good for the cells and helps allow them to grow, if there is too much sugar in the body it can severely damage important cells.

Type 1 diabetes consists of 5-10% of people with diabetes. It appears most often in adolescents and children. To manage it, daily insulin shots must be taken. Type 1 diabetes is usually caused from an immune system disorder. The most common symptoms are increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss, extreme fatigue, and constant hunger.

Type 2 diabetes symptoms include; unusual thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, fatigue, slow-healing wound/sores, or vision changes. This type of diabetes occurs in 95% of diabetics. Although this usually occurs in adults, it is increasingly appearing in teens and adolescents. Some people are more at risk: Hispanics/Latinos are 1.8 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, African Americans are 1.6 times more likely, and Native Americans or Asians are also at higher risks. Other people more likely to have type 2 diabetes includes people over 45, closely related to people with diabetes, over weight with a Body Mass Index (BMI)higher than 25, high blood pressure (140/90 or higher), or abnormal cholesterol levels.

The final diabetes, gestational diabetes, most often occurs in pregnant women late in their pregnancy. It occurs because of pregnancy hormones or insulin shortages. It often disappears after the child is born but it increases the chance of type 2 diabetes later in life.

There are seven risk factors associated with diabetes. Although the first four are not controllable the last 3 are very important. Make sure to eat right, manage stress, and monitor your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. With these precautions you could reduce your risk of getting diabetes.

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