Diabetes is often referred to as the silent killer, and we want to highlight how diabetes can impact your health. Diabetes impact approximately 10% of Americans and Canadians, and studies show that the numbers are growing at an alarming rate. It is estimated that one in three U.S. children born in the year 2000 and onward will develop diabetes.
So what can we do to ensure that our future generations are safe from this chronic health condition? Please keep reading to learn about what diabetes is, how it occurs in the body, who is affected by it, and prevention tips. We also explore the relationship that calcium plays in diabetes and how to integrate this into your daily routine to live a healthy lifestyle with optimal bone health.
WHAT IS DIABETES?
Diabetes is a metabolic health condition that affects how our bodies transform the foods we eat into growth and energy. When we consume food, it is broken down into sugar (glucose) through digestion. This increases our blood sugar levels and sends a signal to the pancreas to release the insulin hormone. Insulin is a vital hormone our bodies need as it helps convert glucose into energy for your tissues, muscles and healthy brain function.
For people with diabetes, their body cannot process insulin normally either because the body produces too little insulin or the body does not respond to the insulin that is present. As a result of this, there is an influx of blood sugar in the bloodstream which can cause extreme health problems over time including heart disease, nerve damage, loss of vision, Alzheimer’s, depression, and kidney disease. Health professionals continue to search for a cure for diabetes but are yet to discover an effective treatment. Until then, there are steps you can take to prevent diabetes and ways to reduce the impact that it has on your life.
TYPES OF DIABETES
There are three different types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes
Caused by an autoimmune reaction, Type 1 diabetes is when the body produces little or no insulin. The body continues to break down carbohydrates into glucose but as there is no insulin present it can’t enter the cells as it should to give us the energy we need. Blood sugar levels increase due to a build-up of glucose in the bloodstream, causing type 1 diabetes to appear. Type 1 diabetes can appear at any age, however, it typically appears in children and young adults. Approximately 5-10% of the people who have diabetes have type 1 and symptoms develop relatively quickly. Living with type 1 diabetes means that you need to take insulin every day to survive.
Risk factors for type 1 diabetes：