Diabetes is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is actually a group of metabolic diseases diagnosed in a person who has high blood sugar (blood glucose).
Diabetics have high blood sugar levels due to one of two reasons. Type 1 diabetics have bodies that do not produce insulin and due to no fault of their own will be in need of daily insulin shots for the rest of their lives.
Type 2 diabetics have bodies that do not produce enough insulin to function properly or else the cells in their bodies are insulin resistant and do not react to insulin. Family history and genetics can contribute to developing type 2 diabetes as well as other lifestyle risk factors such as lack of exercise, poor diet and excess body weight.
Ninety percent of diabetics worldwide have type 2 diabetes.
A third type, gestational diabetes affects pregnant women with high levels of glucose. While many Americans downplay diabetes as just "high sugar", it is a serious disease with deadly consequences.
Diabetics may experience increased thirst (polydipsia) and hunger (polyphagia) and frequent urination (polyuria). Prolonged complications from diabetes can include kidney disease, hypertension, skin infections, hearing loss, stroke, glaucoma, and a host of other issues including death.
These problems do not have to happen, though. Type 2 diabetes can be controlled through proper foods, good weight control and medicine.
The people who are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese as compared to people at a healthy body weight. They are physically inactive and eat the wrong foods (high fat, processed, and high calorie) too. Soda drinkers are also at higher risk.
The journal Diabetologia reported findings from Imperial College London researchers that found even those who drink just one 12-ounce can of non-diet soda increased the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 22 percent.
The highest risk group also has significant abdominal obesity, or belly fat. The excess weight causes the release of chemicals that destabilize both the cardiovascular and metabolic systems.