How big of a sweet tooth do you have? Is “There’s always room for dessert!” your personal mantra? You might want to get a hold of yourself. Think about ALL THAT SUGAR! The last thing you would want your guilty pleasure to lead you to would be a life-altering health condition; diabetes.
Hopefully, by now you know that diabetes is actually a VERY common condition that affects millions of people all around the world. It could happen to anyone at any time; yes that includes kids. The numbers grow every year. Why? We don’t REALLY know how much sugar is in the food that we eat. Almost everything has some form of “added sugar” and who knows what else they put in there. So what can you do? Timely monitoring is the only way to keep diabetes in check!
The Types of Diabetes
Diabetes, in short, is a chronic condition where there’s way too much sugar (glucose) in the blood. Normally, the pancreas produces a hormone called insulin to help lower blood glucose. But what happens if your body doesn’t produce any or enough insulin or is unable to use insulin properly? What happens if your body is no longer able to convert carbohydrates (sugars and starches) into energy and stores it in your blood? That’s right it leads to diabetes and diabetes can lead to a whole range of other health issues you don’t want to mess with. Limb amputation anyone?
There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 is where the pancreas is unable to produce any insulin and depends on external sources. Type 2 is where the pancreas either doesn’t produce enough insulin or produces too much to the point the body has become resistant to it. Type 1 cannot be prevented but type 2 can.
The Red Flags for Diabetes
- Frequent urination
- Dry mouth
- Weight loss or gain
- Increased hunger
- Wounds and cuts that take longer to heal
- Frequent infections
- Tingling or numbing sensation in the feet or toes
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Itchy skin
- Skin darkening around the neck, armpits and groin area
Are You at Risk?
To be blunt, yes! Anyone, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity etc. is at risk. Especially if you are overweight, not physically active, have a family history of diabetes, and or have hypertension. If you suspect that you might have it based on the red flags, contact a healthcare professional and get your blood sugar tested. This is the only surefire way to keep yourself in check. Diabetes is a CHRONIC medical condition. It can be controlled but it’s going to last a lifetime.