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Diabetes by Litrease French

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My father is a 47-year-old African American and he has diabetes. I found out about his condition about a year ago.  At that point, I made it my business to learn everything I could about diabetes. My father tried to make it seem as if it wasn’t serious, but we as his kids already knew the truth.  Some days he looks normal and is very active. Other days he just lay around looking exhausted. I can tell it’s getting worse because he doesn’t take care of himself the way he should.

Diabetes is a very serious condition that affects how your body uses glucose. Having too much glucose can seem harmless, but can be very dangerous. To understand diabetes I had to get the full understanding of how the body works. Glucose enters the bloodstream, then the pancreas makes insulin to help store it in the muscle, fat, and liver for energy. If you have diabetes the body is not making enough insulin, or cells do not respond to insulin.

There are three major types of diabetes: Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, and Gestational Diabetes Mellitus. Type 1 is more common for ages 40 and under. Normally it’s when the immune system destroys insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. In cases like this injections of insulin are needed on a day-to-day basis. Type 2 Diabetes is when the body does produce insulin, but the body doesn’t use the insulin adequately.  This is also known as insulin resistance. Gestational Diabetes Mellitus is common in pregnant women. Having GDM can affect the baby by causing birth defects, and also increase the rate of miscarriages.

Some people live their lives day by day not knowing they have diabetes. They do this by ignoring the signs, and symptoms.  Some signs are weight loss, hunger, and excessive urination. Having too much glucose in the blood is a very serious problem. Long-term effects are you can damage or lose your eyesight. In many cases, you can get heart disease, or have a stroke. In some extreme cases damage to your kidneys, and nerves. There are many effective ways to prevent or even control diabetes. Some examples are exercise, weight control, and a strict diet.

It is extremely important to test your blood sugar on at least a day-to-day basis.  Although it may be painful the most effective way to check your blood sugar is through the blood. Meters that stick the fingers, and meters that test alternate sites like forearms, thumb, and thigh are some options given for testing. It has been proven that the most effective way to test is a stick to the figure. I can personally vouch for some diabetes patients and say that figure prick hurts. I could only imagine how it feels when you have to test 4 and 5 times a day.

In closing, diabetes is a silent yet deadly killer, and we must take care of our bodies and our bodies will take care of us.


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