Diabetes is a condition where the pancreas secretes an insufficient supply of insulin or the body does not use the insulin efficiently. There are two types of diabetes which are Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, which occurs mostly in children and young adults, has no known cure or prevention. The pancreas does not produce insulin at all in Type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is known as adult onset diabetes because it is commonly diagnosed later on in life. In Type 2 diabetes the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the insulin that it does produce is not used efficiently in the body, which is a condition known as insulin resistance. There is also another form of diabetes which only occurs in women during pregnancy and this form is called gestational diabetes. The onset of gestational diabetes is caused by the fact that your body is not able to make and use all the insulin it needs for pregnancy. Without the body being able to produce enough insulin, it does not allow the glucose to properly leave the blood and be transformed to energy. Glucose is therefore built up in the blood to high levels. This is then called hyperglycemia.
Some of the common risk factors in getting diagnosed with diabetes are our family genetics, history of immediate family members having the disease, our current physical activity level, overweight and/or having excess body fat, and a diet that does not include enough fiber or whole grains. Other factors such as having uncontrolled high blood pressure, the use of tobacco products, taking certain medications for a long period of time, and too much alcohol intake can also make you more at risk for developing diabetes.
There are numerous lifestyle changes that can be made to lower one’s risk for developing diabetes. Start an exercise regimen that includes at least 1 hour of vigorous exercise, try taking the stairs instead of the