November is officially Diabetes Awareness Month!
Diabetes is one of the most prominent chronic illnesses in the United States. It does not discriminate, anyone of any age, color, race, ethnicity, income level, etc. can have diabetes. Diabetes is not contagious, it is not spread through the air or through bodily fluids. You cannot catch diabetes from eating too many sweets, though a poor diet does raise your level of risk.
There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes typically is diagnosed during adolescence and is also referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes. Insulin dependent refers to the fact that people with Type 1 diabetes have need to supplement their body’s production of insulin because it is either not producing enough insulin or it is not producing any insulin at all. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body’s cells absorb sugar or glucose. People with Type 2 diabetes typically need to have insulin administered either via injection or pump every time that they eat so that their bodies can properly process the glucose they have just ingested. Type 2 diabetes is most commonly diagnosed in adults and it is not insulin-dependent. Type 2 diabetes can be managed with oral medications, a healthy diet, and regular exercise.
Diabetes cannot be cured, yet. There are many organizations that are trying to find a cure for it though. Diabetes can be managed with the help of healthcare professionals like a primary care physician and an endocrinologist. Diabetes should not go untreated as it can and will lead to death if nothing is done to manage it. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to continue to get regular care and keep all appointments to make sure that your plan for management continues to be effective.