Nearly 26 million children and adults in America live with diabetes, and another 79 million at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The disease is taking a devastating physical, emotional and financial toll on our country. Recent numbers by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spell out why diabetes presents such a critical health challenge:
Now is the time to act. While November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, it's always a good time to rally individuals, communities and families. UTMB Health and the Stark Diabetes Center join in a national effort to educate and help eradicate this disease.
Diabetes is serious. Health problems caused by diabetes can include:
Stark Diabetes Center
The Stark Diabetes Center provides state of the art clinical care, research and education in the area of disease conditions and syndromes including but not limited to diabetes, dyslipidemia and obesity, as well as the metabolic syndrome.
Stark Diabetes, Galveston
Stark Diabetes, League City
Angleton Danbury Clinic
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
People who think they might have diabetes should visit a physician for diagnosis. Look for the following symptoms:
Nausea, vomiting, or stomach pains may accompany some of these symptoms in the abrupt onset of insulin-dependent diabetes, now called type 1 diabetes. Many people do not find out they have the disease until they have diabetes complications, such as blurry vision or heart trouble. If you find out early that you have diabetes, then you can get treatment to prevent damage to your body.
Besides being older and overweight, these other factors increase your risk for type 2 diabetes:
How can I reduce my risk?
You can do a lot to lower your chances of getting diabetes. First, learn about the disease. Then, exercising regularly, reducing fat and calorie intake, and losing a little weight can help you reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels also helps you stay healthy.
Avoiding Diabetes: The Right and Wrong Way
Read this column by Lynn Maarouf, a registered dietician offering diabetes education and nutrition counseling at The Stark Diabetes Center
Exercising regularly, reducing fat and calorie intake, and losing a little weight can help you reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The three main kinds of diabetes are type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes, formerly called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is usually first diagnosed in children, teenagers, or young adults. In this form of diabetes, the beta cells of the pancreas no longer make insulin because the body's immune system has attacked and destroyed them. Treatment for type 1 diabetes includes taking insulin shots or using an insulin pump, making wise food choices, exercising regularly, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, and taking aspirin daily-for some.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes, formerly called adult-onset or non-insulindependent diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes. People can develop type 2 diabetes at any age, even during childhood. This form of diabetes usually begins with insulin resistance, a condition in which fat, muscle, and liver cells do not use insulin properly. At first, the pancreas keeps up with the added demand by producing more insulin. In time, however, it loses the ability to secrete enough insulin in response to meals. People who are overweight and inactive are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Treatment includes taking diabetes medicines, making wise food choices, exercising regularly, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, and taking aspirin daily (for some).
Some women develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Although this form of diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born, a woman who has had gestational diabetes is more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Gestational diabetes is caused by the hormones of pregnancy or a shortage of insulin.