Diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association there are 23.6 million people with diabetes. Only 17.9 million of them have been diagnosed. Diabetes is a serious metabolic disorder that leads to many health complications and premature death. If you've been diagnosed, it is vital that you control your blood sugar.

  • 17.9m people are diagnosed with diabetes
  • 5.7m people are undiagnosed with diabetes
  • 57m people have pre-diabetes
  • 186,300 (0.22%) people under 20 have diabetes
  • 1 in every 400 to 600 under 20-year olds have Type 1 diabetes
  • 2m adolescents have pre-diabetes
  • 23.5m (10.7%) of those over 20 have diabetes
  • 12.2m of those over 60 have diabetes
  • 12m men (11.2%) have diabetes
  • 11.5m women (10.2%) have diabetes

When we consume food, it is broken down in our digestive tract into smaller pieces for glucose to be released. Glucose is energy our cells need to function properly. To be able to enter the cells, the pancreases releases a hormone called Insulin. This key unlocks the cells so the glucose can enter.

When you have Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce any insulin. It was previously called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile-onset diabetes. It develops when our body's immune system destroys pancreatic beta cells. Insulin has to be delivered to the body by injection or pump. There is no known way to prevent Type 1 diabetes.

If you have Type 2 diabetes (90%), your pancreas is producing insulin but the cells might be ignoring it. Before you're diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, you usually have insulin resistance. The cells do not use insulin properly. Type 2 Diabetes used to be associated with older age but now it's associated with obesity, family history, history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose metabolism, physical inactivity and race/ethnicity. Type 2 diabetes is fully reversible with exercise and living foods.

Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy. It is common among obese women and women with a family history of diabetes. Women who have had gestational diabetes have 40%-60% change of developing diabetes in the next 5-10 years.

Living with diabetes increases your risk of health complications. Hypoglycemia, ketoacidosis, and nonketotic hypersosmolar coma. Longer term complications could be cardiovascular disease, retinal damage, chronic kidney failure, nerve damage, poor healing of wounds, gangrene on the feet which may lead to amputation, and erectile dysfunction.

Controlling sugar is crucial in leading a healthy and powerful life. Ignoring it leads to future complications. The most important aspect of managing your Diabetes is losing the weight and providing your cells with the correct fuel it needs. Eating mostly vegetables and a few low sugar fruits every day will help you manage the disorder.