November is American Diabetes Month. The month is dedicated to raising awareness of the life-threatening condition and educate the public how they can try to avoid being diagnosed with the condition or how to stay healthy if they are.
Diabetes is a condition in which your body does not make enough insulin to keep your blood sugar levels steady. Insulin is a hormone that removes sugar (glucose) from your blood when your blood sugar is too high. It then puts it to work as energy for your cells. Diabetes can be a confusing topic, so here are the facts you need to know.
THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE WITH DIABETES HAVE TYPE 2 DIABETES
About 90-95% of people with diabetes have Type 2, while about 5 percent have Type 1, and the remainder have gestational diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is caused when the body can’t make enough insulin for the body. It is most common in individuals over the age of 45.
DIABETES IS A LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN THE WORLD
While diabetes – and the complications of it – is the #7 cause of death in the United States, it has a much higher mortality rate in the rest of the world. This is especially true in middle- to low-income countries, as these countries are often unable to access proper treatment for the condition.
TYPE 2 DIABETES IS PREVENTABLE
Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include aging and being overweight or obese, though as youth obesity rates rise, so do cases of early-onset Type 2 diabetes. Staying healthy through proper diet and about 30 minutes of regular exercise 4 or 5 times a week can drastically decrease your chance of getting Type 2 diabetes.
CASES OF TYPE 2 DIABETES HAVE DOUBLED IN AMERICA IN THE PAST 20 YEARS
The high and increasing rate of obesity in America is the leading cause for this unfortunate trend. Also, a large percentage of the American population is advancing in age.
DIABETES CAN BE MANAGED WELL
People with diabetes can still live well despite their condition. In fact, the ways that they can stay well are pretty much the same from the ways that everyone else can. Moderate regular exercise and weight loss or control can go a long way to helping minimize the symptoms of diabetes and the complications that can result from it. Also, those who discover early on that they have diabetes have a much better chance of being able to keep it under control.
DIABETES MEAL PLANNING DOESN’T HAVE TO BE COMPLICATED
The main dietary restrictions a person with diabetes should practice are avoiding saturated and trans fats, excess sugar, sodium, and cholesterol. Even on a tight budget, it’s possible to eat healthy. Watching your carb consumption, eating fiber-rich foods – like green vegetables and fresh fruits – and consuming lean meats and other healthy sources of protein can help keep you healthy.
DIABETES IS A LEADING CAUSE OF BLINDNESS, AMPUTATION, KIDNEY FAILURE AND OTHER CONDITIONS
If diabetes is not managed well, it can get out of hand. It can lead to conditions like diabetic retinopathy, which affects your sight and can cause blindness. It can seriously harm your kidneys and can affect your oral health, as well. Uncontrolled diabetes can also lead to heart disease and stroke. It can also prevent your body from healing as quickly or being aware of the seriousness of an injury, and a slow-healing wound is more likely to become infected or become an ulcer or open sore (particularly on the feet and legs). If the infection is not treated properly, it can become too severe and damaging. It can also spread to other parts of the body, which can cause the need for amputation.
KNOWING YOUR RISK LEVEL CAN HELP YOU PREPARE FOR OR AVOID DIABETES
Many people don’t even know they have diabetes. In fact, about a third of United States adults have prediabetes, a borderline-diabetic high blood sugar condition, but 90 percent of them don’t know it. People who smoke are also 30-40% more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes doesn’t have to be scary, and it doesn’t have to run or ruin your life. But lifestyle and health issues that can lead to Type 2 Diabetes can exclude you from access to many life insurance policies. The Whole Life plan from ASBA is different. There are no tests or exams to qualify. You’re pre-approved. Not only that, but you can’t be dropped for any reason so long as premiums are paid.