Diabetes Awareness

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November 8, 2011 • Abbie Isaac, Student Life Editor  
Filed under Student Life

Everyone knows about diabetes. That doesn’t mean you actually know anything about it. It has something to do with candy… and eating.

“It’s not good. And people who get diabetes, their children are more likely to get diabetes. I have a friend whose grandparents have diabetes,” Says a student.

“You can die if you eat too much sugar,” Says another.

There are several myths floating around about the disease. Diabetes isn’t caused by eating too much candy. You can’t catch it like a cold. And it is a very serious disease. More people die due to diabetes every year than people who die of AIDS and breast cancer combined.

There are two types of diabetes, and they are very different. Many people get them confused, or think they’re the same thing.  Type 1, or insulin dependent, diabetes is typically diagnosed in children. It’s caused by a lack of insulin secretion from the pancreas. Type 2, or non-insulin dependent, diabetes is the most common throughout the world and is generally diagnosed in adults. In Type 2 diabetics, the body does produce insulin, but not enough (diabetes.org). Type 2 can be avoided by regular exercise, and healthy eating choices. However, since genetics is also a factor, you can still be diagnosed even if you are a relatively healthy person.

A little over a year ago, my dad was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. This was no shock, since both of his parents have the disease. For a while, it was awful. We couldn’t eat anything my dad couldn’t. He said that eating ice cream was like being unfaithful to him. Once my neighbors brought over a lemon pie. It sat on the table for an hour before my dad threw the whole thing away. The whole stinkin’ pie. No more white rice, pizza, pancakes, and lots more vegetables.  And especially not ice cream.

When he first started testing his blood sugar levels, he would pretend to cry and writhe on the floor in agony.  My brothers thought they were going to die. They had never had to eat so many vegetables in their life. How on earth could my father force them into this miserable life of…healthiness?!

It got better. I don’t like white rice anymore. And my dad doesn’t mind if we eat ice cream every once and while. Just as long as we don’t fawn over it and tell him how sorry we are for his loss.

Millions of Americans have diabetes and are prediabetic. It’s a worldwide epidemic threatening the lives of millions. This month, November, is American Diabetes Month.  Join the campaign to stop diabetes at http://stopdiabetes.diabetes.org/ and learn more.

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