November is National Diabetes Awareness month! According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly half of all American adults have diabetes or prediabetes, yet most do not fully understand the illness. Unaddressed diabetes can take a heavy toll medically, financially, and personally. Diabetes also increases the risk of developing other chronic conditions. Becoming educated on the subject is the first step in properly managing or preventing diabetes.
How is diabetes diagnosed?
Diabetes can be diagnosed through blood tests for glucose and/or hemoglobin A1c. Elevated blood markers must be present on two separate occasions for a formal diagnosis to be assigned.
What is insulin?
Insulin is a hormone released from the pancreas when the sugar from carbohydrates gets into the bloodstream. Insulin signals the cells of the body to take up glucose for energy or storage.
What is the difference between Type I and Type II Diabetes?
Put simply, type I is an autoimmune condition in which the body does not produce its own insulin; therefore, insulin must be self-administered. Type II Diabetes is developed through a combination of poor diet, lack or exercise, and genetics. The cells of the body no longer respond to insulin and blood sugar remains elevated. Type II is preventable with proper diet, exercise, and weight loss.
What is the best way to prevent diabetes?
The best way to prevent diabetes is early detection (i.e. catching elevated blood glucose levels before they are at high risk). If glucose levels are elevated, consistent lifestyle modifications, including a healthier (carb-controlled) diet and exercise regimen, can help to mitigate the condition over time.
What is better for diabetes management, cardio or weight training?
While cardio can help burn calories and promote heart health, strength training takes the cake (pun intended) when it comes to improving overall blood sugar management.
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