“…let us not [only] love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:18
Nearly 30 million Americans suffer from diabetes and another 86 million have prediabetes. Sadly, one in four don’t even realize they’re walking around with the disease. The total national cost of diagnosed diabetics is estimated to be around $245 billion.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body can't produce insulin, a hormone in the pancreas that breaks down carbohydrates into blood sugar or glucose, for energy. Insulin therapy helps the pancreas to function normally. Many children suffer from Type 1 diabetes although it can affect people of any age or background. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease where the body is unable to process our internal insulin well enough to keep blood sugar at normal levels. Gestational diabetes occurs in women who develop diabetes during pregnancy. Once a woman is diagnosed with this form of diabetes in pregnancy, she risks developing diabetes at some point later in her lifetime. Women also have a lifelong risk of diabetes if you give birth to a baby weighing over nine pounds.
Long term side effects of poorly controlled diabetes include vision loss, kidney disease, vascular disease, and heart disease.
You may be predisposed to Type 2 diabetes if you are overweight, older than 45, your parent had Type 2 diabetes, you barely exercise each week, and you have been diagnosed with prediabetes. Losing weight is a key preventive measure. With a 10–14-pound weight loss, you can improve your chances of avoiding or even beating diabetes. Try to exercise about 30 minutes a day, five times per week. Follow a diet low in simple sugars and carbohydrates. Avoid high sugar drinks like soda pop. Lean protein and lots of fruits and vegetables are best. Be sure to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day.
Discover ways that you can live a little healthier by reviewing your habits. Are you getting enough sleep? Fatigue can cause a resistance to the insulin your body needs — and daytime tiredness can stop you from getting some life-saving exercise. Drink more water because dehydration keeps your body from functioning well. Be adventurous and add some new veggies and fruits to your diet to help keep those hunger pangs at bay.
Carolyn D. Pauling PhD RN