There are two kinds of diabetes, commonly referred to as type 1 and type 2. Type I diabetes is where your body does not produce any insulin because for one reason or another, the insulin producing cells in your pancreas have been damaged. Type 1 diabetes is utterly outside of your control and must be treated with regular injections of insulin.
Type 2 diabetes comes about because your body cannot produce enough insulin, or because the quality of the insulin that it does produce is not up to the job. Type II diabetes can be treated by changing your lifestyle, for example eating a healthy and well balanced diet, taking regular physical activity, and if need be, losing weight. All of these factors are within your control, and there are many steps that you can take to decrease your risk of acquiring Type II diabetes. So let's take a quick look at those who are most at risk.
- You will be more at risk if a close member of your family (for example one of your parents and brother or a sister), suffers from Type II diabetes.
- You will also be at risk if you are overweight (where your waist is 31.5 inches or more if you are a woman, or 35 inches or more if you are a man
- If you suffer from hypertension (high blood pressure), or you have experienced a heart attack or stroke, then you may be more at risk of contracting Type II diabetes.
- Women who have polycystic ovary syndrome have an increased risk.
- If your glucose tolerance level is abnormal.
- If you are a woman who has suffered from gestation of diabetes.
- If you suffer from mental health problems
If any of the above-mentioned conditions apply to you, and you are concerned about the possibility of contracting Type II diabetes, then you should go and have a discussion with your doctor. Much is talked about in relation to Type II diabetes and more are several fables that have grown up about this condition and they are just that - fables! These include:
- Eating too many sweets or foods that contain too much sugar can cause diabetes. This is totally untrue although eating food with too much sugar can cause you to be overweight, a condition which can in theory lead to Type II diabetes
- Some people believe that diabetes is contagious and can be caught like the common cold. This is totally untrue.
- It has also been said that stress can lead to diabetes. Once again this statement is totally untrue although it should be understood that severe stress can have aggravate an existing condition of the diabetes.
- Last but not least it is often said that an accident or an illness of some kind can lead to diabetes. Totally untrue! However examinations of an illness, or after having suffered an accident, could reveal a previously undiagnosed case of diabetes.
- It has been speculated that diabetes may make men impotent. There is no truth whatsoever in this old wives’ tale; in actual fact just the opposite is true.
- It is also often said that children will outgrow diabetes. Sadly this is not the case, especially if the child in question is suffering from type I diabetes, from which there is no known cure.
- Many people also believe that if the family has a long history of diabetes, that they will eventually contract the condition themselves. This is not the case. Yes, your risk is higher, but if you are careful with your lifestyle choices you could remain diabetes free.
- Some people think that certain foods such as sweets, bread, and potatoes must be avoided if you are diabetic. This is untrue, and you can allow yourself between six and 11 portions of foods that contain carbohydrates.
- Another common misconception is that your diabetes is getting worse as the levels of insulin you are prescribed are raised. Once again this is totally false. All of our bodies are different, and we all go through phases, and these phases may require an increased dose of insulin although the diabetes itself remains constant.
- It is also thought by some, that diabetics are banned from certain professions. Strange though this may seem there was some fact in this in recent decades. However political correctness will not allow any such bias in this day and age.
Diabetes is a manageable condition, but you must follow the advice of your doctor in maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet, taking regular exercise, and keeping your weight under control. Many people live quite normal lives, and insulin delivery systems are improving year-on-year, making them less onerous and invasive to administer.