Almost 10% of the U.S. has Diabetes


Going through all of his medications take Terry Michael quite a while.

"I couldn't even tell you all the names of this stuff. I've got five different pills I take."

It's a harsh reality.  Pills.  Morning, noon, and night.  But it's a reality for millions.  Almost 10% of the U.S. population has diabetes.

"When I was a kid, my grandmother used to say you're going to be a diabetic, you know, because I was always eating sugar and stuff."

Terry has Type 2 diabetes because his body's fat cells do not use insulin effectively.  Insulin keeps the body's blood sugar levels from elevating too high.  Resistance to insulin develops overtime in people who are overweight, that have excess abdominal fat, and are not physically active, like Terry at the time of his diagnosis.

"I was up to 300 pounds."

But Type 1 diabetes is completely different.  This type is passed down genetically. Many are diagnosed as a child, like Springfield resident, Rachel Elmer.  She was diagnosed when she was only 13 months old.

"I've had it all my life so I'm used to it now I guess you could say.  But it's definitely an everyday challenge.

She's 16 and needs daily doses of insulin to survive.

"I'm going to give four units of insulin.  And so I just have to hit go and it'll go through this and into my body."

What separates Type 1 from Type 2 is that Type 2 is preventable.  Many people have pre-diabetes, and are on the path toward developing Type 2.  But it's possible to turn that train around.  Losing weight, eating healthier, and becoming more active are the most important steps you can take.

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