Diabetes is the fastest growing risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The number of people -- which has tripled over the last three decades -- is equal to 7% of the American population. More concerning is that one-third of diabetics are unaware they have the disease -- a disease which leads to cardiac conditions, stroke, blindness, loss of limb, and impotence for men. Knowing your risk profile will enable you to take control of your health and provide you with the best defense against diabetes.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
When you eat, your food is broken down into a sugar called glucose. Glucose gives your body the energy it needs to work. But to use glucose as energy, your body needs insulin.
When you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not make enough insulin or use it well. Since your body’s cells can’t use the glucose from your food as energy, the glucose stays in your blood, where it can cause serious problems.
There is no cure for diabetes, but it can be managed. Balancing the food you eat with exercise and medicine (if prescribed) can keep your blood glucose in a healthy range. Many people with diabetes live long and healthful lives.