More than 17 million people in the United States have diabetes, according to the American Dietetic Association. Diabetes prevents the body from utilizing one of its most important hormones: insulin. As sugar, starches and other essential energy-supplying foods enter the body, insulin converts them into energy, thus powering essential human functions. Individuals with diabetes cannot rely on this process to provide energy, so their daily routine has to be adjusted to correct for this inability. Those with Type 1 diabetes must find other sources of insulin, as their bodies are incapable of producing it. However, 90 percent of people with diabetes have Type 2, which requires that they seek medical help to correct their bodies' inability to use the insulin that they produce.
Diabetes is an elusive disease, but steps can be taken to limit and control it. Unfortunately, Type 1 diabetes is genetic and people cannot prevent it, but people can try to prevent Type 2 diabetes. Three major risk factors for Type 2 diabetes are family history, poor nutrition and sedentary behavior. Most people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight. If people make an effort to exercise and diet, the number of Type 2 diabetes cases will very likely decrease. Living with or attempting to prevent a diagnosis of diabetes is not easy, but it can be manageable.
Those concerned about the risk of diabetes can consult various resources on campus. To monitor the food you eat, talk to Terry the dietician/nutritionist; she can guide you in making sensible choices at TDR. Also, work out at the Jacobs Fitness Center on campus. Students who have trouble getting to the gym or getting motivated should ask a friend to join them or schedule an appointment with a personal trainer.
For more information about the disease, visit the American Diabetes Association Website at http://www.diabetes.org/homepage.jsp.