This week's Friday Friend is Karen Cote', who is giving us facts on Diabetes, a growing epidemic.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a lifelong (chronic) disease in which there are high levels of sugar in the blood.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to control blood sugar. Diabetes can be caused by too little insulin, resistance to insulin, or both.
To understand diabetes, it is important to first understand the normal process by which food is broken down and used by the body for energy. Several things happen when food is digested:
A sugar called glucose enters the bloodstream. Glucose is a source of fuel for the body.
An organ called the pancreas makes insulin. The role of insulin is to move glucose from the bloodstream into muscle, fat, and liver cells, where it can be used as fuel.
People with diabetes have high blood sugar because their body cannot move sugar into fat, liver, and muscle cells to be stored for energy. This is because either: -Their pancreas does not make enough insulin -Their cells do not respond to insulin normally -Both of the above
There are three major types of diabetes. The causes and risk factors are different for each type:
Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, but it is most often diagnosed in children, teens, or young adults. In this disease, the body makes little or no insulin. Daily injections of insulin are needed. The exact cause is unknown.
Type 2 diabetes makes up most of diabetes cases. It most often occurs in adulthood, but teens and young adults are now being diagnosed with it because of high obesity rates. Many people with type 2 diabetes do not know they have it.
Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar that develops at any time during pregnancy in a woman who does not have diabetes.
Diabetes affects more than 20 million Americans. Over 40 million Americans have pre-diabetes (early type 2 diabetes).
Symptoms -High blood sugar levels can cause several symptoms, including: -Blurry vision -Excess thirst -Fatigue -Frequent urination -Hunger -Weight loss
Because type 2 diabetes develops slowly, some people with high blood sugar have no symptoms.
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes develop over a short period of time. People may be very sick by the time they are diagnosed.
Thanks to Brenda Novak’s Annual Auction for the Cure of Diabetes, more monies are being raised to help combat this disease.
Here’s a message from Brenda on her auction:
So far, we have raised over $1.3 million–and hope to break $2 million in the near future. In order to make that happen, we are gearing up for another great year, so be sure to keep an eye on all the great items our generous donors are contributing. The auction will open on May 1st and run through May 31st. Make sure you register as a shopper so that you get all the notices that will be going out. You wouldn’t want to miss the fun–this is such an easy way for us to join together to make a difference!
I’ve had the pleasure of helping get the word out on Brenda’s Auction and I am overwhelmed at the prizes being donated for people to bid on. Come over and see a sample of the prizes, as well as links to connect to the auction at http://www.karencote.tv/writers-pen-for-charity-lounge