Last updated on July 21st, 2016
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) says that over 29 million people in the United States – 9% of the total population – have diabetes. Only about 21 million have actually been diagnosed with the disease, leaving what the ADA believes are an estimated 8.1 million undiagnosed. 1.4 million new cases are reported each year and almost 90 million Americans age 20 and older have been diagnosed with prediabetes.
If left untreated, diabetes is very dangerous. Every one of your life decisions will be affected by the disease. But diabetes is still misunderstood, possibly because there are 3 different types: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes most frequently manifests during childhood or early adolescence. It affects the immune system and causes it to actively attack the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. The result is an inability to produce this hormone and necessitates the need for insulin injections to maintain proper blood sugar levels. Dietary changes may help to manage the condition.
Type 2 diabetes generally develops past age 40. It occurs when the body still produces insulin but doesn’t make enough or can’t properly use the insulin available. As a result, glucose accumulates in the bloodstream instead of being utilized for energy. This type of diabetes can be managed with lifestyle changes, though certain medications and insulin injections may be required.
Gestational diabetes occurs in 2-4% of pregnancies and often subsides once the baby is born, but a woman will then have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. It can be managed through lifestyle changes and healthy dietary habits, and in some cases, medication may be needed to manage blood sugar levels.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, you may feel as though you have lost control over your life. You may experience dizziness, faintness, nausea, and even mood swings, and keeping track of your blood sugar level can be a difficult task.
You may have to avoid eating certain foods and may even have to follow a restrictive diet to keep your diabetes under control. If you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes, getting regular exercise is a good way to control or prevent further adverse developments.
In addition to the ill effects of diabetes, you may not live to see your sixtieth birthday. This might mean missing significant life events with children and grandchildren. This slow killer also puts you at risk for serious complications such as blindness, amputation, skin and gum disease, and cardiovascular disease including high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
If any of this resonates with you, you will be glad to know that there is hope. The Diabetes Library fills the information gap and educates you on both mainstream and alternative treatments so you and your doctor can make the best choices for you. You’ll find cutting-edge research and proven methods for naturally controlling blood sugar so you can take an active part in your health. Diabetes just got a little easier!
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