According to the CDC, an estimated 29 million people in the United States are living with diabetes. Our bodies naturally turn glucose into energy by using a hormone called insulin that is produced by our pancreas. Diabetes is caused when blood glucose levels regularly become elevated above normal levels and occurs when your body either is not making the amount of insulin needed or using insulin incorrectly. This results in sugar building up in your blood.

Tips such as managing a healthy weight, following a low-calorie, plant based diet, drinking plenty of water, and getting enough exercise can help lower your chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, however, usually develops as an autoimmune disease during childhood and is caused by an insulin deficiency. While a person with diabetes can lead a happy and healthy life with treatment, it’s best to prevent diabetes if possible.

Early warning signs and symptoms of diabetes include:
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger
  • Dry mouth
  • Frequent urination or urine infections
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal (type 1)
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands and feet (type 2)
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, discuss them with your primary care provider. To learn more about diabetes, please visit the CDC's  website.
 
Image courtesy of Total Shape.

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