If you live anywhere north of exit 145 on the Garden State Parkway, you know that when I say, “he had sugar,” I’m talking about diabetes. In honor of National Diabetes Month, I decided to write a few words on the topic of “sugar.”
According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. 29.1 million people have diabetes and, it’s projected that at least 1 in 3 people will develop the disease in their lifetime.
I learned about diabetes as a child when my grandfather developed adult-onset (Type 2) diabetes in his late 40’s. He was prescribed medication (pills) and instructed to curtail his diet to manage his sugar levels. Through a child’s eyes, I learned that people with diabetes couldn’t eat sugar. Fast-forward 20 years; I met my husband Chris, who had juvenile-onset (Type 1) diabetes, which required a daily shot (at least) of insulin. Chris would struggle with vision loss, hypertension, cardiovascular, and kidney disease, all attributed to diabetes.
Diabetes is a disastrous disease. It’s so much more than not eating an Oreo for dessert. Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure; also, adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease.