03 Feb Diabetes is More Lethal Than Originally Thought
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes (Full Name: Diabetes Mellitus) is a disease of the Endocrine System, particularly of the Pancreas and the body’s abilities to produce Insulin and/or utilize the Insulin produced. Insulin is absolutely essential for the body to process sugars and therefore have the energy to live. Put simply: without Insulin, digested sugars (or broken down starches) just stay in the bloodstream, climbing to deadly levels.
There are two types of Diabetes: Type 1, where the body does not produce Insulin at all, and then there is Type 2: where the Pancreas may produce Insulin, but the body is not or no longer able to effectively utilize it. Type 1 is traditionally called “Juvenile Onset” Diabetes, and like the name implies: it’s usually a condition diagnosed early in life. Type 1 Diabetes is usually genetic and, unfortunately, not something behavior usually cures – though people with Type 1 Diabetes can greatly affect their prognosis by adopting the same behaviors discussed in this article.
Type 2 Diabetes
This article will focus on Type 2 Diabetes and its terrible rise in America. It can potentially lead to Morbid Obesity, higher incidences of stroke, amputation (from losing the ability to heal from simple wounds to extremities), blindness and early death. Type 2 Diabetes is the most easily preventable form of Diabetes. That’s worth stating again: many people who suffer from Type 2 Diabetes did not have to ever have it in the first place, and that is a sincere tragedy. The most common causes of the preventable cases are poor, fatty diets extremely high in sugars combined with a lifestyle that has low amounts of exercise or physical activity.
Foods to avoid include fried foods, red meats, processed sugars and white, bleached flour. Food to increase includes vegetables, particularly leafy and green vegetables, wheat grains and unsaturated fats such as canola or olive oil. The best meats to eat are grilled or baked skinless poultry or fish, tuna or perhaps salmon. There are countless delicious sauces and recipes that cater to diabetics.
Family History and Diabetes
Unfortunately, a family history of diabetes does make you more prone to developing it. In the United States, minorities are more likely to acquire Diabetes Type 2. African Americans have the greatest incidence, followed by Latinos. Areas such as the Southeastern US have a higher incidence of Diabetes, though its rise is nationwide.
How do I Prevent Diabetes?
The higher percentage of cases in these groups is partially from genetics, but cultural diets also play a major role as well. Remember: while a person cannot change their genetic structure, they most certainly can change their diet and his or her physical activity level. A great first step is simply consulting a medical professional. A simple blood test can be all that is necessary for a diagnosis or prognosis.
Finding out where a person stands can be the catalyst to major lifestyle changes. Expect to hear: “Change your eating habits. Increase your physical activity. Start slowly at first. “
Luckily, anyone starting off is not alone and need not figure this all out on his or her own. There are so many organizations dedicated to the education and assistance with the prevention, early detection and support of anyone concerned with Diabetes. There are simple ways to find assistance: checking local phone listings for social groups, consulting healthcare providers or even visit a Nurse or a Nutritionist. Excellent resources can be to ask a child’s PE teacher for advice or look and see if the local church, temple or other faith-based group has any initiatives or support groups. More than likely they can help.
The First Step
The most important first step is to take action. All it takes is getting started, and the results may literally be the difference between a healthy life and an unfortunate and untimely death.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and are interested in participating in our clinical trial program, please call our regulatory coordinator Barbara Lepthin at 714-500-8650 for more information.
Dr. Sue Reddy specializes in the treatment of infectious disease among many other specialties. She understands what is required to live a healthy, active life. Please feel free to take a look around her website and if you feel she provides services you may be interested in, give Dr. Reddy a call. Her staff would be more than happy to set up an appointment and answer any questions you may have.