Indiana, known for its rich agricultural heritage and warm Hoosier hospitality, is facing a sweet challenge that extends beyond its famous sugar cream pie – diabetes. Diabetes is a condition that affects many people in Indiana, both young and old. It’s essential to learn about diabetes, its types, and how to prevent and manage it.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a health condition that happens when your body has trouble using a special sugar called glucose. Our bodies need glucose for energy, but when someone has diabetes, their body has a hard time keeping the right amount.
Types of Diabetes:
There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2.
- Type 1 Diabetes:
- This type is usually found in kids and young adults.
- People with Type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day to help their bodies use glucose.
- It’s not caused by eating too much sugar or unhealthy foods.
- Type 2 Diabetes:
- This type is more common in adults, but kids can get it too.
- People with Type 2 diabetes need to eat healthy foods, exercise, and sometimes take medicine to control their glucose levels.
- It can be linked to eating too much sugary and fatty foods, and not getting enough exercise.
While Type 1 diabetes can’t be prevented, there are ways to lower the risk of getting Type 2 diabetes:
- Eat Healthy Foods: Choose fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Limit sugary and fatty foods.
- Stay Active: Exercise helps your body use glucose better. Try to play outside, ride your bike, or join a sports team.
- Keep a Healthy Weight: Being overweight increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Eat well and stay active to maintain a healthy weight.
If someone has diabetes, whether it’s Type 1 or Type 2, they can take steps to manage it and live a healthy life:
- Take Medicines: Some people with diabetes need to take medicine to control their glucose levels. This might include insulin or other medications.
- Eat Right: A healthy diet is crucial for managing diabetes. Eat a variety of foods, and pay attention to portion sizes.
- Exercise Regularly: Physical activity helps the body use glucose for energy. Aim for at least 60 minutes of exercise each day.
- Monitor Blood Sugar: Regularly check your blood sugar levels to make sure they stay in a healthy range.
Understanding diabetes is essential for everyone, whether you have diabetes or know someone who does. You can explore resources, diabetes-friendly recipes and support options available through the American Diabetes Association website. The Cardiovascular and Diabetes Coalition of Indiana also has fun and free educational materials available as well. By learning about prevention, management, and utilizing available resources, we can take positive steps towards a healthier future for all Hoosiers.