What you need to know now
The bad news is that diabetes is on the rise among Americans. The good news is that there is something to be done about it. Edgewater Health wants you to know the facts about both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes and learn how to stop Type 2 Diabetes before it starts.
Type 1 Diabetes
Unlike Type 2 Diabetes, which typically (but not always) develops later in life, Type 1 (aka: childhood or juvenile) Diabetes cannot be prevented. The exact cause of diabetes in children is unknown, but what we do know is that it’s not contagious, it is diagnosed most around the age of 14, and there isn’t a cure.
With Type 1 Diabetes, the body’s immune system mistakenly turns on insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. As with most diseases, the earlier it’s caught, the better. Be aware of the following symptoms and take your child to a doctor right away if he or she develops any of them:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Hunger and weight loss
- Tiredness and irritability
- Eye troubles
- Yeast infections and higher instances of diaper rash
Type 2 Diabetes
As obesity increases, so does the diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. In fact, it’s estimated that one in three people will have developed Type 2 diabetes by 2050. Some symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes are also things to look out for with Type 2. Weight loss, thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, and blurry vision are all common symptoms of both types of diabetes. Other symptoms for Type 2 Diabetes include:
- Itchy skin
- Cuts and sores that are slow to heal
- Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
Type 2 Diabetes is primarily caused by unhealthy habits like poor food choices and lack of physical activity. If left untreated, Type 2 Diabetes can have dire consequences. These include fatal heart attacks, strokes, and even the need to amputate toes and feet.
Tips for preventing the development of Type 2 Diabetes double as tips for good health in general. These include:
- Healthy eating:
- Change your snack routine by swapping out pizza rolls for celery and hummus or fruit and peanut butter
- Avoid processed foods when possible
- Drink lots of water
- Practice portion control and never feel you need to eat more after you are full
- Make mealtimes meaningful: distracted eating is usually unhealthy eating
- Staying active:
- Mix up your routine. Try sports, dance, or martial arts instead of monotonous trips to the gym.
- Sneak in activity wherever you can: park further away, take the stairs, find active jobs to pitch in and help with.
- Incentivize yourself by using anything except food as a reward for good habits. Take yourself to the movies, go shopping for new athletic clothes or shoes, or buy something nice for your home.
Both types of diabetes can have devastating consequences. Be on the lookout for symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes in your children and do all you can to prevent the development of Type 2 Diabetes.
If you think you or your child is at risk for either type of diabetes, or you’d like to know better diabetes management strategies, make an appointment with Dr. Nwabara by calling 219-885-4264 or request an appointment online here.