Living with Diabetes

Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.

Diabetes is a disease which affects 7.8% of people living in the United States. Diabetes occurs when insulin is not produced properly in the body. Insulin converts materials such as food into energy for the body. If you suffer from diabetes, your body does not properly produce insulin, thus robbing your body of the energy it needs. Genetics and environmental factors, such as weight (obesity) and lack of exercise have been found to be a determining factor in diabetes.


There are different types of diabetes, and it is important to know the difference between them. The first kind of diabetes is known as Type 1 Diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes.Diabetes affects 5-10% of those who are diagnosed with diabetes. This type of diabetes occurs when the body does not produce insulin. The most common type of diabetes is known as Type 2 Diabetes. This particular kind of diabetes is a result of the body resisting insulin along with an insulin deficiency. About 4% of pregnant women are affected by gestational diabetes. This occurs when your body does not produce the insulin it needs to support your body during its pregnancy. One of the final types of diabetes is known as pre-Diabetes. Nearly 57 million people have pre-diabetes in the United States. Pre-diabetes means that a person’s body has high glucose levels, but the levels are not high enough to be considered diabetes.

There are many health concerns associated with diabetes if they are not properly treated and controlled. Some side effects of diabetes can be blindness or loss of vision, heart and kidney disease as well as nerve and blood vessel damage. If you properly care for yourself then your risk for one of these side effects is greatly reduced*.

If you find that you do have diabetes, there are treatment options. The first main treatment to diabetes is testing your blood sugar. By checking your blood sugar regularly, you can monitor how foods and activities affect your blood sugar levels. If regulating what you eat and drink do not control your insulin levels, then a doctor may suggestion putting you on some sort of medication, such as insulin. As always, eating a healthy diet and exercising can also help combat diabetes and its effects. If you are a smoker and have been diagnosed with diabetes, you should quit smoking immediately. In regards to alcohol, you do not need to stop drinking altogether; however, it is recommended to only consume no more than 1 serving each day.

If you or someone you know has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to learn all the facts. If you are trying to help someone you know, such as a relative with their recent diabetes diagnosis, it is very important to be supportive. You can also be an important factor in helping your loved one make important healthy choices in their life that can help them battle their diabetes. Exercising together is another great way to show support while also encouraging the diabetic to engage in a healthy lifestyle.

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