Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death among Americans. 29 million Americans have diabetes, and 86 million are pre-diabetic, but it can be prevented and avoided.
Dr. Diana Bitner, a nationally recognized women's health specialist from Spectrum Health, explained the difference between the two types of diabetes, and what you can do to prevent it, or to make it easier to go through.
There are two types of diabetes: Type I and Type II. In Type I Diabetes, the pancreas can't make insulin, so the body can't process sugar correctly. The sugar stays in the blood stream and can't get into the cells to be used as energy.
Symptoms of Type I include weight loss, fatigue, thirst, and extreme eating. Type I can be diagnosed with a simple blood sugar test and is usually diagnosed in kids and young adults.
Type II diabetes is typically genetic, but can also be caused by habits like lack of exercise and high carb and sugar diets. Type II diabetes and high blood sugars can cause many complications like kidney disease, hypertension, stroke, and can cause many parts of your body to shut down.
Type II is caused by high blood sugars from insulin resistance, but can be prevented unlike Type I.
The body needs carbohydrates to survive, but there's a difference between healthy and unhealthy carbs. Complex carbs raise the blood sugar slowly and let the pancreas make insulin at a slow pace to get the sugar into body cells instead of store it into fat. Simple carbs raise blood sugar quickly, overwhelming the insulin, and get stored in body fat.
Complex carbs are foods like whole grain, whole wheat bread, brown rice, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, and any other grains. Simple carbs are anything with mostly white flour, white rice, white tortillas, and treats like chocolate or candy.
A healthy diet has only one small treat a day, so sticking to a healthy diet is the first step to preventing or keeping hold of diabetes.
Spectrum Health has many classes on nutrition, information, and help through Healthier Communities and your local doctor. The American Diabetes Association also has information on how to get involved or to educate yourself on diabetes.
Dr. Bitner's office is located at 3800 Lake Michigan Drive Northwest, Suite A. To schedule an appointment with her, call (616) 267-8225.
All information was provided by Dr. Diana Bitner and her blog. Read more.