Although diabetes is a commonly known disease, not many people know exactly what diabetes is. Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also known as blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is the main source of energy for your body and it comes from the food you eat every day. This glucose then gets to your cells through the hormone insulin, which is made by the pancreas. When your body does not make enough of this insulin, glucose stays in your cells and eventually you end up getting diabetes.
The most common types of diabetes are type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. People that are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes do not make any insulin for their body to use. The immune system makes an attack on the cells in the pancreas that create insulin. Type 1 diabetes is typically found in young adults and children, but it can show up in a person of any age. People with this type of diabetes must take insulin every single day in order to stay alive.
Next are the people who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. People with type 2 do not make or use insulin effectively. Although type 2 diabetes occurs more often in middle-aged and older people, it can develop at any age, even during childhood. Also, out of all the types of diabetes, type 2 is the most common.
Thirdly, those who are diagnosed with gestational diabetes. This type of diabetes occurs in pregnant women. The positive aspect about gestational diabetes is that it usually goes away after the baby is born. On the other hand, if a woman had gestational diabetes before, they have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in her life.
Many people, especially older people may wonder what they can do to prevent themselves from getting type 2 diabetes, which is the most common type of diabetes. There are four main steps that should be taken to minimize the likelihood of getting diabetes. These steps consist of losing weight and keeping it off, getting more exercise, eating healthy foods, and asking your health care professional about what you can do to make changes in your life that will prevent type 2 diabetes.
In the losing weight aspect, you may be able to delay and even prevent diabetes by losing 5 to 7 percent of weight you started with. To give an example, if someone weighs 180 pounds, that person’s goal should be to lose about 9 to 13 pounds. By losing this weight, it allows for you to better control your chances of developing diabetes. However, more importantly, although you want to try to lose weight, if you are unable to, it is always better to maintain one’s weight instead of gaining.
Getting lots of exercise is a very important factor when it comes to preventing diabetes. Starting with getting at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week is the best way to build up on the amount of exercise that you feel capable of doing. Starting easy and making a goal can be a great way for you to feel good about yourself and prevent diabetes at the same time.
Eating healthy food is very closely related to losing weight. The main purpose of eating healthy foods for most people is to lose weight in order to stay healthy. This can be accomplished by eating smaller portions to reduce the number of calories you take in each day, choosing foods with less fat, and drinking water instead of sweetened beverages. All of these strategies can help you to lose weight, eventually leading to a lower risk of diabetes.
One woman, named Young Hee Lee who was worried about developing diabetes said, “I have been putting all of my attention nowadays into looking at many videos and articles about how I can lower the chances of myself developing diabetes, so I think it would be really helpful if I could know what I could do to my everyday diet to help with my problem.”
Although these are all good ways to minimize the chances of getting diabetes, the most effective step to take is to visit your health care professional for details on what you should do personally to stay away from diabetes.
Diabetes is a really serious problem in the United States and all over the world. There are over 100 million people affected by diabetes in the United States alone. To decrease this number everyone must be careful during their daily lives and make changes in order to prevent themselves from developing this horrible disease.
Rosalia Park, Grade 9
Crescenta Valley High School