American Diabetes Association
WORDS BY KAYE WARR
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) offers this frightening statistic on its web page: “Someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with diabetes every 17 seconds.” The association also warns that diabetes is America’s fastest growing disease. Diabetes is a disease that centers on the body’s production of insulin. The Mayo Clinic defines the two types of diabetes as follows: “Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy. The far more common Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin or doesn’t make enough insulin.”
Type 1 used to be known as juvenile diabetes and Type 2 was known as adult-onset diabetes. This terminology has changed, largely because a rise in childhood obesity has increased the diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes in children and young adults even though historically the disease has been more likely to affect adults over the age of 45.
Type 2 diabetes has been shown to be largely preventable and manageable through a course of treatment and lifestyle changes that read like a particularly ambitious set of New Year’s Resolutions:
- Eat healthy
- Exercise regularly
- Quit smoking
- Practice good oral hygiene
- Drink in moderation
- Manage stress
Diabetes can lead directly to heart disease, neuropathy (nerve damage), kidney disease, gingivitis, blindness, high blood pressure, and amputation.
My high school boyfriend had Type 1 diabetes and his mother was always terrifi ed that his cigarette smoking would accelerate the harmful eff ects of his disease. I remember watching with the same squeamish unease when he would light up a Marlboro Red as when he would stick a needle into the fl esh of his fi nger to test his glucose.
I have a friend who developed Type 2 diabetes as a young adult and has since lost 100 pounds and stopped drinking in order to manage his incurable disease. I worked with a woman whose mother had her foot amputated because she developed gangrene as a result of her Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes.org states that “More than 60% of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations occur in people with diabetes.”
Diabetes is an insidious disease that affects millions of people and there are many millions more who are undiagnosed and have what is known as prediabetes. Prediabetes is mostly asymptomatic and often leads to type Type 2 diabetes if it remains undetected and untreated.
Th e treatment for prediabetes and the best way to prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes according to the ADA is by “losing 7% of your body weight (or 15 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds), exercising moderately (such as brisk walking) 30 minutes a day, fi ve days a week.”
We at Edible Sarasota believe that a healthy lifestyle is paramount to a long and enjoyable life and we believe that it is important to educate ourselves and each other about the dangers that excess and apathy can cause. We support the ADA in its continued eff orts to “fi ght against the deadly consequences of diabetes and fi ghting for those aff ected by diabetes.”
TOUR DE CURE
Melissa Ann Brochu Parsons is the manager of fundraising and special events for the American Diabetes Association and as such is the driving (or cycling) force behind the annual Tour de Cure Event. Melissa has been personally affected by diabetes in that her grandfather developed Type 2 diabetes later in life, despite being an active and healthy man.
Melissa took time out of her hectic day of working to save lives to chat with us about this incredible event. Melissa has managed the Tour de Cure Event for three of the past four years that it has been held in Lakewood Ranch. Tour de Cure is the ADA’s signature cycling event and is the largest cycling event for diabetes in the country. Tour de Cure is held in 80 cities nationwide and is dedicated to changing the future of diabetes.
The 2014 Southwest Florida Tour de Cure will take place on March 30. This exciting and inspiring event attracts both novice and experienced cyclists and welcomes anyone who wants to take the ride of their life to help save lives. The funds raised by Tour de Cure support diabetes research, education, and advocacy in support of the American Diabetes Association.
The routes range from 10 to 100 miles and all riders are invited to a celebration after the ride on Main Street in Lakewood Ranch, which includes lunch and live music.
Join the fight to stop diabetes!