Last weekend we had the most EPIC DUFF DAY to date with friends from all over Charleston and Mount Pleasant coming together to have fun and SWEAT IT OUT! But did you know that DUFF DAY is all in the name of a GREAT CAUSE?
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. We donate a percentage of our proceeds from Duff Day towards the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund, a cause that is near and dear to our hearts—because as many of you know, TD1 (Type-1 Diabetes) has effected our lives directly.
In the spirit of awareness, we thought it would be a great idea to go over exactly WHAT Diabetes is, how TD1 & TD2 are different, and WHY it’s a big deal to spread Diabetes awareness!
DIABETES AWARENESS—THE NUMBERS ARE STAGGERING
DiabetesResearch.org lays it out like this: “Diabetes can strike anyone, from any walk of life. And it does – in numbers that are dramatically increasing. In the last decade [alone], the cases of people living with diabetes jumped almost 50 percent.”
For a condition that was only just identified at the turn of the last century, Diabetes has become one of the most pressing health concerns in our nation. According to the CDC, the number of people living with diabetes has grown from 1.58 million individuals in 1958 to 23.35 million in 2015. And the numbers are only predicted to rise.
LiveStrong explains, “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that by 2050, one in three American adults could have diabetes.”
DIABETES AWARENESS—THE FACTS
So what exactly IS diabetes? DiabetesResearch.org explains, “When you eat, your body turns food into sugars, or glucose. At that point, your pancreas is supposed to release insulin. Insulin serves as a “key” to open your cells, to allow the glucose to enter — and allow you to use the glucose for energy. But with diabetes, this system does not work. Several major things can go wrong – causing the onset of diabetes. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are the most common forms of the disease…”
DIABETES AWARENESS—THE TYPES
HealthLine describes the differences between TD1 and TD2: “Both types of diabetes are chronic diseases that affect the way your body regulates blood sugar, or glucose. Glucose is the fuel that feeds your body’s cells, but to enter your cells it needs a key. Insulin is that key. People with type 1 diabetes don’t produce insulin. You can think of it as not having a key.”
“People with type 2 diabetes don’t respond to insulin as well as they should and later in the disease often don’t make enough insulin. You can think of this as having a broken key. Both types of diabetes can lead to chronically high blood sugar levels. That increases the risk of diabetes complications.”
While people with type 2 diabetes can affect whether or not they get the disease, unfortunately, those with type 1 have the condition typically from an early age (and it has nothing to do with weight, height, health or anything that doctors are able to pinpoint yet). BUT the overall message is that no matter what type of diabetes one may have, diet and exercise are essential to good management (and if you’re type 2, is key in possibly overcoming it).
DIABETES AWARENESS—HOW IT HAPPENS
How do you get TD1 and TD2? HealthLine continues, “Type 1 and type 2 diabetes may have similar names, but they are different diseases with unique causes. In people with type 1 diabetes, the immune system mistakes the body’s own healthy cells for foreign invaders. The immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. After these beta cells are destroyed, the body is unable to produce insulin. Researchers don’t know why the immune system attacks the body’s own cells. It may have something to do with genetic and environmental factors, like exposure to viruses. Research is ongoing.”
“People with type 2 diabetes have insulin resistance. The body still produces insulin, but it’s unable to use it effectively. Researchers aren’t sure why some people become insulin resistance and others don’t, but several lifestyle factors may contribute, including excess weight and inactivity.”
DIABETES AWARENESS—FITNESS MATTERS
While TD1 and TD2 have different causes, BOTH can benefit from fitness and in many cases, TD2 can be PREVENTED through good diet and exercise. According to Diabetes.org, “Aerobic exercise makes your heart and bones strong, relieves stress and improves blood circulation. It also lowers your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke by keeping your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels on target.“
LiveStrong agrees: “Exercise, whether aerobic or resistance-based such as weight training, is considered one of the most effective lifestyle habits individuals at risk can adopt to prevent potential cases from becoming actual cases. It has been shown that exercise has a greater protective effect for those at highest risk. In some instances, exercise has a greater beneficial effect than dietary modifications or even weight loss on the management of blood sugar.”
Not only does exercise help prevent Type 2 diabetes, it helps people with Type 1 diabetes manage their condition. According to EndocrineWeb, “Exercise makes it easier to control your blood glucose (blood sugar) level. Exercise benefits people with type 1 because it increases your insulin sensitivity. In other words, after exercise, your body doesn’t need as much insulin to process carbohydrates.”
For more information, we recommend you check out these resources:
The American Diabetes Association
National Diabetes Education Program