You never think it will happen to you, but unfortunately, not everyone can get through life in perfect health. While you may be suffering from diabetes, chances are you may not have studied it in-depth, or know the extent of the issue.
In truth, it is a huge, far-reaching problem that affects millions of people around the world (a whopping 1 in 11 people have diabetes– that means 415 million people) and contributes to millions of deaths every year.
Increased diabetes awareness is essential to help manage this condition and prevent more people suffering from related complications that can drastically affect their quality of life.
How Serious is Diabetes?
While you might be in the early stages of the disease, you may not think it’s much of an issue. In fact, there’s no such thing as a mild case – if ignored, diabetes can reduce your quality of life and cause various health complications.
Here are some of the main diabetes complications:
- Cardiovascular disease (and increased risk of heart attacks)
- Kidney disease
- Eye disease
- Pregnancy complications
Type 2 Diabetes
The majority of cases take the form of Type 2 diabetes. The good news is that a few simple lifestyle changes can help reduce the symptoms and manage your condition.
Here are just a few things you can do to keep Type 2 diabetes at bay:
- Be a healthy weight
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet
- Try to stay physically active
- Refrain from smoking
- Choose water, tea or coffee over artificially sweetened beverages
See also: Reducing Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes
Around 10 – 15% of cases are a result of Type 1 diabetes, which has nothing to do with lifestyle. This means it could essentially happen to anyone, and it is still unknown just what causes this condition.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas stops producing insulin, meaning you have to inject insulin yourself several times a day. However, this condition is still very manageable as long as you take it seriously and follow a few simple rules to stay as healthy as possible.
Type 1 diabetes can be managed by:
- Regular insulin injections/use of an insulin pump several times a day
- Adhering to a healthy diet/eating plan
- Staying active and exercising regularly
What Can You Do if You Have Diabetes?
If you, or someone you know is suffering from this condition, then it’s not the end of the world, as long as you implement some simple changes to your lifestyle and diet, which will benefit you in the long run.
The most important thing is to increase diabetes awareness and ensure that you have access to information on the condition. In 2015 someone died from diabetes every 6 seconds. With a bit more diabetes awareness you can ensure that diabetes doesn’t affect your quality of life. With more education, the side effects of diabetes can easily be minimized.