Living with Diabetes
Diabetes is a major and potentially life-threating disease caused by imbalances in insulin and glucose levels in the bloodstream. Glucose is converted from food as our primary source of energy. A lack of insulin results in high glucose levels and an inability for cells to absorb this fuel. Left unaddressed, diabetes can be fatal or lead to life threatening complications, but with proper management, patients can live long, productive lives.
Diabetes is classified into three types: Type 1 in which no insulin is produced; Type 2 is characterized by insufficient insulin production or improper function of insulin produced by the body, and Gestational Diabetes, an often temporary condition developed by women during pregnancy. Type 2 diabetes is conversely related to an unhealthy life style.
Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include: age, being overweight, genetic predisposition, and a reduction in physical activity. Although diabetes affects all ethnic groups, statistics show that Hispanics and African American populations are exposed to an especially high risk of developing the disease. The rates of Type 2 diabetes steadily increase with age (1 of 4 seniors above the age of 65 is affected by the condition.) 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes and are at risk of developing the full condition. This is truly an epidemic across our nation.
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