This next post will continue on with the discussion of artificial sweeteners and sugar with my thoughts on diabetes, both type 1 and type 2. This is information that should encourage you and the friends and family that you may know that have diabetes. You should also note that this information will be over a few posts. First, lets make sure we can distinguish what type 1 and type 2 are.
It is estimated that between 220 and 346 million people in the world have diabetes. This includes people that actually have the disease and the number of those who are living with it and do not realize it (1).
Diabetes can be a lifetime disease and is characterized as type 1 or type 2 (1). Type 1 simply means that the body does not produce insulin. You may have heard this type called childhood-onset diabetes, which is no longer correct because children can develop type 2. Type 2 is caused by ineffective use of insulin. Type 2 is usually caused by being overweight or physically inactive. Type 2 is much more common, about 90% of those with diabetes have this one (2).
So, what is insulin? Insulin is a substance the body creates, in the pancreas that has many functions, most notably blood glucose/sugar regulation. Type 1 diabetics need to take insulin, as their body does not produce it and type 2 diabetics may or may not need to take insulin.
Having inadequate control over your blood glucose/sugar levels can have potentially hazardous effects. There are two conditions that this can cause: hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. These are big fancy names for two conditions. Hyperglycemia is when blood sugar levels go up and can cause problems can damage blood vessels and nerves. Hypoglycemia occurs when blood sugar levels go down and may result in loss of consciousness.
So, here is part 1 of a series of posts about diabetes. The next post will be on what exercise and physical activity has to do with diabetes. Other posts in this series will include topics such as nutrition, consequences and lifestyle modifications.
And to let everyone know, the “World Diabetes Day” is November 14th, 2011. For more information check it out on the facebook.