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Monday, November 19, 2012 - Why You Need to Know about Diabetes

Diabetes is a group of diseases characterized by high blood glucose levels that result from defects in the body’s ability to produce and/or use insulin. According to the American Diabetes Association, close to 19 million people have been diagnosed with this disease and 79 million people are considered prediabetic (those with blood sugar levels higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetic). Even more concerning is the fact that seven million people have diabetes but don’t know it.

Diabetes Differs: Know your Type

  • Type 1 diabetes is a disorder in which the body does not produce insulin (a hormone that helps move sugar from the blood to the cells). People with Type 1 diabetes must take insulin injections to move sugar from the bloodstream. This type of diabetes is not preventable and is usually diagnosed before age 40.

  • Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body isn’t producing enough insulin or the insulin is not efficiently moving sugar out of the bloodstream. This type of diabetes is associated with physical inactivity and obesity. Diet, exercise, weight loss and sometimes medications are the treatment for Type 2 diabetes.

  • Gestational diabetes occurs in about four percent of pregnancies and usually disappears after childbirth. Gestational diabetes can often be controlled with dietary changes, but may require glucose-moderating medications or insulin. If untreated, gestational diabetes can harm both mother and baby.
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