Diabetes: How it Affects Your Body
Diabetes is a disease that affects the way sugar is metabolized in your blood stream. According to the Center for Disease Control, diabetes results in high levels of glucose in your system, due to a breakdown in insulin production. Statistics provided by the CDC state that each year approximately 1.6 million Americans 20 years of age or older are diagnosed with diabetes.
- Individuals with diabetes are two to four times more likely to suffer from a stroke.
- High blood sugar levels can cause blurred vision.
- Diabetes can damage the nerves in many areas of your body.
- Individuals with diabetes are more likely to die from pneumonia or influenza.
The CDC explains that adult-onset diabetes, often known as type 2 diabetes, occurs when the body does not make enough insulin, and usually develops in adults over the age of 40. The CDC also states that type 2 diabetes is preventable and offers suggestions to individuals who may be pre-diabetic or at risk of contracting the disease.
The CDC defines a pre-diabetic individual as someone who has higher than normal glucose levels, but not high enough to be defined as a diabetic. Suggestions offered by the CDC to help prevent diabetes include:
- Overweight individuals should lose five to seven percent of their body weight.
- Engage in physical activity for at least 30 minutes per day, five days per week.
- Incorporate healthier food choices into your diet and limit the amount of calories and fat.
The CDC reported that individuals age 60 and over can prevent or reverse the development of diabetes by 49 percent by making the suggested lifestyle changes.