How much do you really know about diabetes

25.8 million children and adults have diabetes in the US. That's 8 percent of the population. The disease causes more deaths a year than breast cancer and aids combined, but how much do you really know about it?

In honor of diabetes awareness month, we're testing your diabetes knowledge.

When Ashley Jarvis found out she had diabetes, not even her dog Tequila could calm her down.

Ashley Jarvis, diabetic, explains what scared her most when she found out she was diabetic, "I was really scared because I had to give myself shots."

Her family was full of questions. Let's put your knowledge to the test. One out of three people with diabetes experience complications. What are they at risk for? Is it blindness, heart attack, stroke, or gum disease?

The answer? All of these. It's the leading cause of blindness in adults and increases your risk of gum disease. Those with diabetes are also twice as likely to have heart disease or stroke. And heart disease is the number 1 killer of those with diabetes.

True or false? Eating too much sugar causes diabetes?

False. While being overweight is a risk factor for type 2, it doesn't matter where the calories come from. Type 1 is genetic.

True or false: Type 1 diabetes skips generations?


Dr. Deidre McSweeney-Tyson, Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital, Pediatric Endocrinologist, explains how genetics work, "In fact the way the genetics work especially if the father has diabetes there is a much larger chance that one of his children will get diabetes."

Finally true or false: Only overweight people develop Type 2 diabetes?


Dr. McSweeney-Tyson explains that you can help prevent Type 2 diabetes, "But the take home message is, a lot of type 2 diabetes can be prevented by changing one's lifestyle and not gaining weight."

Simple changes that could save your life.

More than 90 percent of people diagnosed with diabetes have Type 2. Two out of three people with diabetes die of heart disease or stroke.

REPORT #1831

WHAT IS DIABETES? Diabetes is a lifelong disease in which there are high levels of sugar in the blood.
CAUSES: Diabetes can be caused by too little insulin, resistance of insulin or both. Insulin is a hormone central to regulating carbohydrate and fat metabolism.
* Ketones in the urine - a by-product of the breakdown of muscle and fat
* Fatigue
* Slow healing sores
* Frequent infections such as gum or skin infections and vaginal or bladder infections
* Nerve damage -excess sugar can injure the walls of tiny blood vessels
* Brain problems- research suggests high blood sugar may increase risk for Alzheimer's

TREATMENT: Type 1 diabetes involved insulin injections and monitoring blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes involves the same treatment, along with medications. Other treatments involve a healthy weight and a healthy diet. There is no specific meal plan for individuals with diabetes. The consumption of vegetables, fruits and whole grains, foods high in nutrition and low fat, is recommended for diabetics and non-diabetics; along with fewer animal products and sweets. Second, physical activity is encouraged. Exercise lowers the blood sugar level by transferring sugar to cells where it is then used for energy. It increases sensitivity to insulin; therefore the body will need less insulin to transfer sugar to cells.

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