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Diabetes Awareness Month

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Whether it is a loved one or a friend, chances are that you know someone who is living with diabetes. Take a moment to educate yourself on the causes and some misconceptions about diabetes.


What is Diabetes?


Diabetes is a chronic illness that affects 1 in 10 Americans, while 1 in 5 people are unaware that they have it. Typically our bodies naturally produce insulin, the hormone that helps convert sugars from the foods we eat into energy. Diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough or properly use the insulin, thus causing the blood sugar to rise.


There are three main types of diabetes; Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin. People diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes need to take insulin daily to survive. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t properly use the insulin it stores. According to the CDC, 90-95% percent of people diagnosed with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes. It can be prevented or delayed with lifestyle changes such weight loss, healthy eating, and being active.


Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women who have never been diagnosed with diabetes before. It typically goes away once a woman delivers; however, the risk for getting Type 2 diabetes later in life is higher.


Common Myth


There is a common myth that eating a diet high in sugars will predispose a person to being diagnosed with diabetes. While eating a lot of sugar is not a healthy choice, it does not cause diabetes. Eating foods with lots of sugar or drinking sugary beverages can lead to becoming overweight, which does increase your risk for diabetes. Other risk factors include but are not limited to family history, age, and physical inactivity.




Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/diabetes.html



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