Every 23 seconds, another American is diagnosed with diabetes. And according to the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, the average yearly health care cost for a person with diabetes is $13,700, with $7,900 due to diabetes alone. This illness, although prevalent, is not seen as serious by people as it should be. Many live with diabetes type 2, the most common type of diabetes that can have a great toll on the body.
Someone with diabetes type 2 does not produce insulin properly. Eating a high-carbohydrate meal, such as bread, pastas, or sweet pastries and candy, increase blood glucose levels in the body, and when insulin isn’t produced correctly, there is an increase in blood glucose levels. While this happens in the body, we start feeling weak due to the lack of energy from glucose not being able to enter the cells, where energy is generated. When this behavior persists over time, other harmful complications will occur, such as vision loss, kidney disease, or heart disease.
What Causes Diabetes?
Although there is no one exact cause for this disease, studies have found several risk factors:
- A history of hypoglycemia ( high blood glucose),prediabetes or gestational diabetes
- Being overweight or obese
- Being physically inactive
- Family history
- Race and ethnicity
- Type 2 diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders.
- Type 2 diabetes is usually seen in the older population.
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal cholesterol levels
Am I at Risk?
If there is a chance Type 2 diabetes is prevalent, the American Diabetes Association provides a free risk test to find out. However, always make sure to visit a physician for proper diagnosis!
How do I Prevent Type 2 Diabetes?
The best action to take to lower your risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes is to live a healthy lifestyle:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Make exercise part of your routine.
- There are a plethora of opportunities to get out and move at Georgia Southern. Besides exercise machines, the RAC offers group fitness classes, personal trainers, an indoor and outdoor pool, and an indoor and outdoor track. Intramural sports are also a fun way to continue an active lifestyle– choose what works best for you!
- Eat well.
- Choose lean meats, low-sodium foods, whole wheat breads and grains, and nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, and limit the consumption of processed foods.
- Watch for portion sizes, eat slow, and stay hydrated with water.
- Need help establishing a healthy eating plan? Follow the MyPlate guide to help develop a proper diet just for you!
- No Smoking.
November is National Diabetes Month, and we want you to be aware of the dangers of developing Diabetes. Georgia Southern Health Services will be hosting a Diabetes Program next semester on March 7th where free blood glucose screenings will be available for students!
Take care of yourself, and fight against Diabetes. Visit www.diabetes.org to learn how you can prevent or control diabetes and help in spreading awareness.
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