November is Diabetes awareness month, the American Diabetes Association reports that nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. Further, another 86 million have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion. There are three types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational.

Type 1 Diabetes, previously known as juvenile diabetes, is usually diagnosed in children and young adults and effect 5% of the population. For people with Type 1 Diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose (simple sugar) from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. Those who do not have diabetes are able to break down the sugars and starches eaten into simple sugars which the body uses for energy. Insulin therapy, healthy eating and exercise can help individuals with diabetes to live long, health lives.

Type 2 Diabetes also referred to as hyperglycemia, is the most common form of Diabetes. This type of Diabetes has to do with the body’s inability to use insulin properly. Glucose or sugar levels rise to higher than normal; the pancreas tries to produce extra insulin to keep up with demand. Over time, the pancreas cannot keep up with the demand to keep glucose levels normal.

Gestational Diabetes is present in pregnant women who have never had diabetes but who have high glucose/sugar levels during pregnancy.

Regardless of the type of diabetes you have, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This means eating healthy, exercising and losing weight if you are overweight. Additionally, your healthcare provider should monitor you unique and specific diabetes type.

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