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The Diabetes Threat

What would you think of a life-threatening disease that affected 30 million people worldwide in 1985 and then 25 years later, by 2010, had ballooned to 285 million, an almost 1000% increase? Wouldn’t that be an epidemic, a plague, even a crisis? If it continues at the same rate for the next 25 years, it will threaten 3 billion people, almost half the world’s population. This disease is the number one metabolic disorder and number one cause of blindness in our world.

I’m talking about adult onset or non-insulin dependent diabetes, more commonly known as type 2 diabetes. It accounts for 90-95% of all diabetes cases and is caused by either insulin deficiency or resistance, which creates an elevation in blood sugar.

Common symptoms include increased thirst, frequent urination, vision problems, peripheral neuropathy, increased infections, and disease.

The primary cause of type 2 diabetes is obesity, with other contributing factors of poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, white rice, certain medications such as statins, advancing age (over 45 years), and genetic factors including being Hispanic or African-American.

Complications that are associated with Type 2 are heart disease, stroke, vision problems, kidney disease, limb amputations, sexual dysfunction, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Some fairly simple changes in lifestyle have proven to be of great benefit in dealing with type 2 diabetes and consist of regular exercise, weight loss, lowered blood pressure, and a vegan diet.

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