We have probably heard our parents, teachers and family members say that if you eat too much sugar you will get Diabetes. While this is a myth, in the United States 25.8 million people suffer from Diabetes, which includes children and adults. This means that 8.3 percent of the population of the United States has Diabetes. 18.8 million people are currently diagnosed but is calculated that about 7 million more are undiagnosed. This means that Diabetes is a very serious condition that can have a life changing impact on yourself and your family.
What is Diabetes? When we eat a sugar called glucose it enters the blood stream to “fuel” our body and give it energy. Once in the bloodstream it needs a hormone produced in the pancreas called insulin to take that glucose from the bloodstream and put it in our muscles, fat and liver cells so that we can use the “fuel”. People with Diabetes have high levels of sugar because their bodies don’t make enough insulin or their cells do not respond to insulin normally.
There are 3 types of Diabetes. Diabetes type 1 can occur at any age but appears usually in children, teens and young adults. These people need daily injections of insulin. Diabetes type 2 often occurs in adulthood and is often related to obesity. Gestational Diabetes is a high blood sugar level that develops during pregnancy in a woman who normally would not have Diabetes.
The symptoms for Diabetes include Blurry vision, excess thirst, fatigue, frequent urination, hunger and weight loss. But be aware because Diabetes type 2 develops slowly, some people with high blood sugar have no symptoms, so it is estimated that over 40 million Americans have pre-diabetes (early type 2 diabetes).
So what can you do? It is very important that you visit your Medical Doctor and be tested for glucose levels. There is no cure for Diabetes. Usually the treatment involves diet, exercise and prescribed medication to control blood sugar levels. There might be support groups for the deaf within your community. Information is the best weapon against the effects of the Diabetes. That is why it is so important for you to ask for an interpreter when you visit your Doctor’s office. Make all the questions you can think of and don’t leave until you are 100% sure you understand the treatment and what you can do to feel better and be healthy.