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Diabetes Prevention & Management


Diabetes Prevention & Management

As of 2020, 1 in 3 people in North America will be effected by diabetes. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Both types involve fluctuations in blood sugar and respond to changes in diet, exercise and lifestyle.

Type 1 diabetes is the result of a problem with the pancreas, an organ that converts food into fuel that the cells of the body use to function. Among other functions, the pancreas produces insulin, which is a hormone that “unlocks” muscle cells to allow those cells to absorb sugar from the blood and lower blood glucose levels. People with type 1 diabetes do not produce insulin; this prevents cells from absorbing sugar from the blood, which leaves blood glucose at dangerously high levels. Those with type 1 diabetes use insulin injections to help their body cells absorb blood glucose.

Type 2 diabetes may develop because of a combination of genetics and lifestyle choices. If you have a parent with diabetes, your risk for developing it increases. The most common cause of type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance, which means the body cells have become resistant to the effects of insulin so they don’t absorb sugar like they should. Type 2 diabetes is often the result of lifestyle choices, especially those choices that lead to being overweight or obese. These lifestyle choices include lack of exercise, unhealthy meal planning choices, and being overweight or obese.

Pregnant Woman Eating Healthy

Some women have difficulty in controlling blood sugar during pregnancy, a condition known as gestational diabetes, which resembles type 2 diabetes. In fact, about 2 to 6 percent of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the occurrence of diabetes during pregnancy is rising drastically.

Women who have had gestational diabetes in previous pregnancies are at higher risk for the condition during subsequent pregnancies. Women who have had very large babies – those weighing 10 pounds or more – are at higher risk for gestational diabetes. Furthermore, women who have had gestational diabetes are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

In most cases, gestational diabetes goes away within weeks after giving birth. In those cases in which gestational diabetes does not go away, women develop type 2 diabetes. Even if gestational diabetes does go away, more than half of women who get over gestational diabetes have a risk of developing type 2 diabetes. All women who experience gestational diabetes should undergo testing for type 2 diabetes every one to three years.

Women who have had gestational diabetes are also at greater risk for heart attack and stroke later in life, according to the American College of Cardiology. The CDC says that gestational diabetes can also affect the health of the baby, increasing the baby’s risk of being born too large or having type 2 diabetes in the future.

The 22 modules included in the Every Healthy Choice Counts focus on the everyday diet, exercise and lifestyle choices you can make to help control your diabetes, or reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. They can also help you with weight loss.

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