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Diabetes Awareness Month: Young Texas Actress Shares Her Story with Type 1

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November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Diabetes remains the 7th leading cause of death in the United States according to the American Diabetes Association. Over 30 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, and 1 in 4 don’t even know they have it. But a diabetes diagnosis doesn’t mean life, as you know, is over. There are many proactive steps you can do to assist you in preventing diabetes or learning how to manage it so you can continue living a productive and healthier lifestyle.

“About 193,000 Americans under age 20 are estimated to have diagnosed diabetes, approximately 0.24% of that population,” shares the Diabetes Association. “The percentage of Americans age 65 and older remains high, at 25.2%, or 12.0 million seniors (diagnosed and undiagnosed).” Disheartening facts as our young actress below, Jennifer Stone, shared her struggles with Type 1 diabetes.

Types of Diabetes

American Diabetes Association

Photo: Facebook.com/AmericanDiabetesAssociation

Diabetes comes in many forms but there are three main culprits: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant). Not to be dismissed is Prediabetes which is an unwelcomed host into developing Type 2 diabetes if not controlled.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “Prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as diabetes.” The good news is prediabetes can be reversed with proper adjustments to your healthy lifestyle habits. The not so good news about Type 1 as shared by Beyond Type 1 is “T1D is neither preventable nor curable and while its cause is unknown, studies prove that T1D results from a genetic predisposition together with an environmental trigger.”

Type 2 occurs when your body isn’t able to properly utilize its insulin and keep blood sugars within a normal range. “Also known as “insulin resistance,” and can often be treated through diet, exercise, and medication,” shares beyondtype1.org. Michelle Davila a Registered Dietitian with Spring Branch Community Health Center in Houston, TX had this to share, “the advice I would give to those diagnosed with diabetes, is that diabetes is not a death sentence.  On the contrary, it is a condition that can very well be controlled following a carbohydrate-controlled diet and regular exercise. It is vital to receive nutrition education to understand how the body processes foods and how exercise is also a vital component in blood sugar control.”

Jennifer Stone 

Jennifer Stone 2
Photo: Rick Bhatia

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