Diabetes is a disease that has been strongly affecting the lives of millions of people in the United States. It's a disease that we should all be aware of — especially the significant number of people who have diabetes in the U.S. This is because diabetes can alter your perspective, and quality of life and even lead to blindness, amputations, heart disease, kidney failure, and stroke.
According to the National Diabetic Report, 37.3 million people have diabetes (11.3% of the US population). Approximately 28 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes and 8.5 million people remain undiagnosed. Prediabetes (before someone becomes diabetic) is more prevalent than diabetes, and it’s alarming to know that 96 million people aged 18 years or older have prediabetes, which is 38.0% of the adult US population.
For those who are concerned that they might have diabetes, here’s a deep dive into the disease to be better informed and learn about ways to prevent it.
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which the body’s ability to either produce or respond to insulin is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of sugars, which leads to increased levels of sugars in the blood. There are different types of diabetes that can cause too little sugar, too much sugar, or no insulin.
Diabetes is a dangerous disease that can have serious consequences for your entire body. The most common damages include heart problems, strokes, and kidney failure to name just some of the possibilities suffered from diabetes.
Symptoms of Diabetes
The following are the symptoms of diabetes:
- Feeling thirsty all the time (Polydipsia)
- Desire to eat all the time (Polyphagia)
- Urinating frequently (Polyuria)
- Blurred vision
- Becoming sick more than usual
- See a Healthcare Provider if the Following are Present
- Overweight and/or have a family history of diabetes
- Experience any of the symptoms mentioned above
- Sedentary lifestyle and losing weight for no reason
Lifestyle Changes and Prevention
The following will help to either maintain good sugar levels for those who are already diabetic or may prevent individuals from becoming diabetic if they are in the prediabetic stage.
- Lose weight
- Exercise daily (at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity)
- Eat fruits and vegetables
- Stop smoking (It is one of the worse habits and the most important risk factor)
- Check blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels routinely
- See your healthcare provider regularly. If you have diabetes, make sure your eyes, kidneys, and feet are checked on a yearly basis.