Diabetes Awareness

Dr. Irl Hirsch with a diabetes patient

Dr. Irl Hirsch with a diabetes patient

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. Type 1 diabetes affects over 1.25 million children and adults. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, a hormone the body uses to convert food into energy.

But most people who have diabetes have type 2 diabetes. With type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t use insulin well and is unable to keep blood sugar at normal levels. Nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States already have diabetes, and another 86 million adults are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Fortunately it is possible to lessen your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by making healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle.

UW Medicine encourages increased awareness of diabetes risk factors, and the changes that can be made to counteract that risk. If you are overweight, have high blood pressure, or are age 45 or older, you are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The good news is that making healthy changes can greatly lower your risk. To help prevent type 2 diabetes:

  • Keep your weight under control
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Increase your level of physical activity

Here are some additional online resources that may help you better understand diabetes, including causes, prevention, symptoms and treatment.

Prediabetes: keeping progression at bay
Diabetes facts
Tackling Twin Epidemics: New Innovations to Fight Obesity and Diabetes, Part I

Additional Resources

The discovery of insulin
American Diabetes Association
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Joslin Diabetes Center