Diabetes is a metabolism disorder in which our immune system affects our levels of insulin, a hormone which helps us control our glucose, or blood sugar. Although most of us have heard about it, not many can say they understand what diabetes really is, how to treat it, or how to avoid it.
Since today is the World Diabetes Day, a yearly event which aims to spread awareness about this life-threatening illness which can affect you or any person in your family, we’ve decided to contribute by creating a little guide with the essential info you need to know.
Read on, and discover the 5 facts you must know about Diabetes!
Fact you must know about Diabetes #5: Obesity is not the only risk factor
Although most people believe that obesity is the only health issue that can make you vulnerable to diabetes, the fact is it’s only one of them. Being overweight can increase your chances of developing diabetes, but many persons with a healthy weight have it too.
Other factors, such as family history, environmental elements, the amount of physical activity, age, and diet, are amongst the many circumstances which can affect your body and predisposition to develop this disease.
Fact you must know about Diabetes #4: It doesn’t have to be an impairing disease
Living diabetes does affect your routine, since it requires paying constant attention to your blood sugar and insulin levels, as well as adopting a much healthier lifestyle. However, this doesn’t mean it’s a life-impairing disease. People with diabetes can exercise or eat sweets as long as they don’t overindulge and follow their treatment.
On the other hand, although it’s a serious -and sometimes life-threatening- disease, diabetes doesn’t necessarily shorten your lifespan, and keeping it controlled will allow you enjoy a normal life.
Fact you must know about Diabetes #3: It’s treatable
As of now, there’s no permanent cure for diabetes. However, the condition can be controlled by diagnosing it early and handling it properly. The treatment includes insulin injections or medicines, healthy diets and regular exercise.
Obeying the treatments imposed by doctors can help a person with diabetes live a healthier life, control their insulin, and even reduce the symptoms during long periods of time.
Fact you must know about Diabetes #2: Type 2 diabetes is the most common
There are three main types of diabetes: Type 1, in which the body doesn’t produce insulin; Type 2, in which the body does produce insulin, but it’s not enough to keep it working; and Gestational Diabetes, which can affect women during pregnancy. From these afflictions, Type 2 is the most common, and includes a 90% of all cases.
This type of diabetes can be developed by people from any age –although the risk is higher as we grow older-, and it’s a progressive form of the disease, meaning it tends to worsen with time. However, unlike Type 1, the symptoms tend to disappear during long periods of time.
Fact you must know about Diabetes #1: It’s a long-term affliction
Since diabetes doesn’t have a permanent cure yet, this illness lasts a lifetime, and the only way of controlling it is by following the treatment imposed by doctors. In the case of Type 2 diabetes, sometimes the issues disappear during long periods of time, yet recur afterwards in about a 20% of the cases.
Until a permanent cure is discovered, the best way to treat this illness is through prevention and control. Checking your levels of blood sugar and choosing a healthy lifestyle can help you avoid it or live with it.
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Diabetes Research Institute. What is diabetes. http://www.diabetesresearch.org/what-is-diabetes
Healthline. Type 2 myths and misconceptions. http://www.healthline.com/health/type-2-diabetes/myths-and-misconceptions#1
Joslin Diabetes Center. Will diabetes go away? http://www.joslin.org/info/will_diabetes_go_away.html
Mayo Clinic. Diabetes. Risk factors. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/basics/risk-factors/con-20033091
Medical News Today. What is diabetes? What causes diabetes? http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/diabetes/