In honor of World Diabetes Day (today!) and National Diabetes Month, we've compiled some facts about this life-threatening disease. A staggering 8 percent of Americans have diabetes. That’s almost 1 in 10 people. (Crazy, right?) Fortunately, regular exercise and healthy foods can help prevent this disease. So why not put the video games on hold and take a jog around the block, or do a few sun salutations?
- Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not make or properly use insulin, a hormone that is needed to turn sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.
- The cause of diabetes is a mystery. However, both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise play roles.
- 24 million Americans, or roughly 8 percent of the population, have diabetes.
- There are two main types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes typically occurs during childhood or adolescence. Type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form of the disease, generally occurs in people who are 45 years of age or older. However, the rate of diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents is increasing.
- A third type of diabetes is gestational diabetes. This type is characterized by hyperglycemia, or raised blood sugar, which is first recognized during pregnancy.
- Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90% of all diabetes worldwide.
- Diabetes can be prevented. Thirty minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most days and a healthy diet can significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.