Diabetes kills more Americans each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. In fact, in the next 24 hours, over 5,000 new cases of diabetes will be diagnosed, and 200 people will die from it.
There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease. In Type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives.
With Type 2 diabetes, the body doesn’t use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. At first, the pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. Over time, however, it isn’t able to make enough insulin to keep blood glucose at normal levels. Type 2 diabetes can lead to other problems like heart disease, stroke, nerve damage, and kidney or eye problems.
Below are some common myths about diabetes.
MYTH: Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar.
FACT: Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and unknown factors that trigger its onset; Type 2 is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors. Being overweight increases your risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, and a diet high in calories from any source contributes to weight gain. Research has shown that sugary drinks are linked to Type 2 diabetes.
MYTH: People with diabetes can feel when their blood glucose level goes too low.
FACT: Not always. Some people cannot feel or recognize the symptoms of low blood glucose, or hypoglycemia, which can be dangerous.
MYTH: It’s possible to have “just a touch” or “a little” diabetes.
FACT: There is no such thing as “just a touch” or “a little” diabetes. Everyone who has diabetes runs the risk of serious complications.
MYTH: Diabetes doesn’t run in my family, so I’m safe.
FACT: Family history is only one of several risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Learn more.
MYTH: You’ll know if you have diabetes by your symptoms.
FACT: Not always. Type 2 diabetes often goes undiagnosed because it usually has few or no symptoms when it first develops.
MYTH: People with diabetes need to follow a special diet.
FACT: People with diabetes benefit from the same healthy diet that is good for everyone else: plenty of whole grains and fruits and vegetables, with a limited amount of fat and refined sugar.
To find out if you are at risk for diabetes, take the Type 2 Diabetes risk test here: www.stopdiabetes.com – Risk test.
Get tested for diabetes at biometric screening that will be held at various locations throughout the City during the month of February. Watch for more information on specific dates and locations.