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Brandon Breshears

Jean Widdison

Health 1020



Diabetes is something that I have become very familiar with throughout my life. Though

I have never been diagnosed with diabetes, I have family members and close friends that have it.

I remember my first experience with the disease was on a family trip to Disneyland with my

family when I was a little kid and one of my cousins had diabetes. Everyone was really careful to

watch what she ate and we would need to take breaks so that they could prick her finger and

check her blood. Being a little kid it scared me a little and I was confused on what the disease

was and why she had to check her blood every few hours.

A few years late my grandma gets diabetes and same with one of my uncles. This shows

that its something that seems to be common in my family and this triggers my mom to check all

of our familys blood levels. My mom is a nurse, so she was able to bring home a machine to

check everyone and see if any of us were diabetic or pre-diabetic. Everyone seemed to be in ok

shape besides one of my brothers that was pre-diabetic and on the fence of being fully diabetic.

When I started high school one of my close friends had diabetes and his case is much

more serious than my family members. There were many times when hanging out with him that

he would have seizures from his diabetes and if they got too bad we would need to call an

ambulance. This was a little too common and a scary occurrence whenever it happened.
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Having family and friends with the disease made me start to think about the way I eat and

exercise. What foods can potentially cause diabetes and are there foods that can actually help

decrease the chances of this disease? Well the sugary foods are typically the worst items that you

can eat to prevent diabetes- Soda, Candy, Donuts etc. Low quality carbohydrates can also

contribute to a spike in blood sugars and increase weight gain. When looking to prevent or help

with current diabetes, fruits and vegetables are the answer. These are loaded with fiber and will

slow the absorption of glucose.

Maintaining an active and healthy life is very important and will help in the prevention of

diabetes. There are countless studies out there that link obesity to diabetes. Obesity.org reports

that 90% of people living with type 2 diabetes are overweight or have obesity. If this stat is

correct, it shows that by not becoming overweight or obese, you drastically reduce your chances

of getting this disease. Some cases are from genetics but theres a much larger chance that you

will get the disease because of lifestyle choices. Diabetes is a major problem in the world and

Healthypeople.gov has some great stats-

Diabetes affects an estimated 29.1 million people in the United States and is the 7th

leading cause of death.

Increases the all-cause mortality rate 1.8 times compared to persons without diagnosed


Increases the risk of heart attack by 1.8 times

Is the leading cause of kidney failure, lower limb amputations, and adult-onset blindness
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In addition to these human costs, the estimated total financial cost of DM in the United

States in 2012 was $245 billion, which includes the costs of medical care, disability, and

premature death.

Diabetes is caused by a disease in which the bodys ability to produce or respond to the

hormone insulin is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated

levels of glucose in the blood and urine. In 2012, the NIH reported an estimated 29.1 million

Americans (9.3% of the population) living with diabetes. Of these, an estimated 8.1 million

persons were unaware that they had the disease. This shows that the signs of the disease can be

minimal until something serious happens or you get some sort of sign you have it.

There are two different types of diabetes that somebody can have. First is type one

diabetes, chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. This disease is

usually found in adolescence and can be treated but not cured. There are more than 200,000

cases of this disease reported per year.

Being very thirsty

Urinating often

Feeling very hungry or tired

Losing weight without trying

Having sores that heal slowly

Having dry, itchy skin

Losing the feeling in your feet or having tingling in your feet

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Having blurry eyesight

When you have diabetes its very important you watch your blood sugar as low blood sugar can

develop quickly in people with diabetes who are taking insulin. Symptoms usually appear when

a person's blood sugar level falls below 70 milligrams per deciliter and can result in serious

health problems.

The second is type two, chronic condition that affects the way the body processes blood

sugar (glucose). This is the more common of the two and more than 3 million cases are reported

every year in the United States. The symptoms of type two diabetes can be slow and

unnoticeable at times. Some of the symptoms include-

Being very thirsty

Urinating often

Feeling very hungry or tired

Losing weight without trying

Having sores that heal slowly

Having blurry eyesight

You would want to constantly monitor your blood levels to ensure that you are at a healthy level.

Over time, high blood glucose can lead to serious problems with

your heart, eyes, kidneys, nerves, and gums and teeth.

To find out if you have diabetes one of many tests can be completed-
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Fasting blood glucose level. Diabetes is diagnosed if it is higher than 126 mg/dL (7

mmol/L) two different times.

Random (non-fasting) blood glucose level. You may have diabetes if it is higher than 200

mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L), and you have symptoms such as increased thirst, urination, and fatigue.

(This must be confirmed with a fasting test.)

Oral glucose tolerance test. Diabetes is diagnosed if the glucose level is higher than 200

mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) 2 hours after you drink a special sugar drink.

Hemoglobin A1c (A1C) test. Diabetes is diagnosed if the result of the test is 6.5% or


Once you have diabetes you need to work to maintain a healthy lifestyle and watch all of

the food/drinks that you consume. Diabetes can be deadly and lead to some very serious issues

that peoples do not think about. People with diabetes are also two to four times more likely to

experience cardiovascular complications and strokes. Diabetes and its related complications

result in an estimated 200,000+ deaths each year, making diabetes one of the major causes of

mortality in the U.S. If your family has a history of diabetes and Cardiovascular disease like

mine, you especially need to be careful. Here are some of the key items to maintain diabetes-

How to recognize and treat low blood sugar

How to recognize and treat high blood sugar

How to plan meals

How to give insulin

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How to check blood glucose and urine ketones

How to adjust insulin and food when you exercise

One famous example of diabetes was Larry. H Miller, the owner of the Utah Jazz and

various other businesses throughout Utah. In 2009 and it came out publicly that he was battling

with serious illnesses caused by his type 2 diabetes. That same year doctors had to amputate both

of his legs and he also had a heart attack. On February 20th, 2009 Larry H. Miller passed away

from complications from his type 2 diabetes. This story is a prime example because later on after

his death, two of his sons gave a talk about his death and the fact that he did not take care of

himself or work to contain it. His eating habits and physical activity all stayed the same and he

was overweight. We know, that if he would have been more active and made better eating habits,

this could have been potentially prevented. To make things worse, he was not very open with his

family about much of his health status. I believe that should also be a factor as your family can

help you with your lifestyle and choices.

I would close with saying that diabetes is a disease that is way too common and there are

many things you can do to either help prevent it or help to contain if you already have it. In

todays world we have the temptations of eating terrible and have sedentary lifestyles unless we

make an effort to change that. I personally work an office job and sit at a desk for most of the

day, but I try to make a point to take my dog on a walk when I get home or at least find

something active I can do. We hear the excuse all the time that eating healthy is too expensive,

but we learned first-hand in this class that thats not the case. We did the assignment to go

shopping for as many healthy items as we can for under $10 and I was pretty surprised at what I

was able to get.

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Works Cited





https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/diabetes (Stats)