What is Type 2 Diabetes?
When food is consumed, the body turns food into sugars and releases insulin to use it for energy. Sometimes the body loses its ability to control and use insulin properly, and the result is high levels of sugar in the blood. When this happens, a person is considered to have type 2 diabetes.
Unfortunately, serious complications can occur as a result of type 2 diabetes, especially when the disease is not managed properly. It can cause skin disease and make it difficult for the body to heal wounds. It can also cause kidney disease, a loss of eyesight, loss of feeling in limbs and risk of limb amputation.
According to the American Diabetes Association in 2011, 25.8 million Americans have diabetes. Of those, 18.8 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes and 7 million are undiagnosed.
Today, type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:
• Weight (overweight or obese)
• Age (over 45 years old)
• High LDL “bad” cholesterol (more than 250)
• Low HDL “good” cholesterol (less than 35)
High blood pressure
Family history of diabetes
• Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
• History of gestational diabetes
• Race (African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans)
• Vitamin B6 deficiency (Bilski, 2000)
• Low fiber diet (Anderson, 1994)
According to the American Diabetes Association, prevention and delay of diabetes onset can be achieved through a healthy lifestyle. This may include exercise, a healthy diet and nutrient supplementation.
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