Presentation tackles risks of diabetes – Essex Information Day by day


The virtual presentation raised the alarm about diabetes.

ORANGE, NJ – Orange hosted a virtual presentation on Thursday March 25th, led by East Orange General Hospital Clinical Nutritionist and Program Coordinator Monika Mahajan and Orange Councilor Adrienne Wooten.

“Diabetes is a chronic, life-threatening disease that affects the way your body converts food into fuel,” Mahajan said during the presentation. “It is one of the most preventable but most common chronic diseases in our community. This session is about learning and helping you understand how to prevent it when you don’t have it and how to better manage it.

“Diabetes is a metabolic disease in which the body’s inability to produce some or enough insulin results in increased levels of glucose in the blood, meaning that all of the food you eat is broken down into glucose, which is nothing but sugar,” she continued. “It will then be absorbed into your bloodstream. Once the glucose is in the blood, the brain tells the pancreas to make insulin, a hormone that transports this sugar to cells in different parts of the body.

The cells only need that much sugar. So if extra sugar is left over, it gets into your liver and is stored there. When there is more, it goes to other cells and is stored as fat. “

Mahajan said that when there is a constant flow of excess sugar, the body makes more and more insulin thinking that its cells are not getting sugar and that extra sugar is floating around the body. Over time, she said, the pancreas becomes overworked and either becomes unable to produce insulin or the body becomes desensitized to the amount of insulin that is being produced.

“Think of a lock and key where insulin is the key,” she said. “The cells are all locked and the insulin acts as a key to unlock the cell and move the sugar to another location. When the body becomes desensitized to insulin, this lock and key will no longer work. The cells starve and the body believes it is in a constant starvation mode. This is insulin resistance, which slows down your metabolism and leads to the storage of fat.

It is recommended that people be examined every three years, Mahajan said. If your clinician or doctor feels that you should be examined every year, it is their decision because they know you better as a patient. If you show up with blood sugar levels greater than 126, you need another assessment. Prediabetes is the condition before you develop full-blown diabetes. Every third adult suffers from prediabetes. Mahajan said it is more alarming that nine out of ten adults with prediabetes don’t know they have it.

“The good news, however, is that research has consistently shown us that changing your lifestyle – losing weight, exercise, and eating healthy – can reverse the risk, meaning you don’t have prediabetes and can have normal blood sugar levels . However, if you don’t have lifestyle intervention, 30 percent of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years. “

Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile or insulin-dependent diabetes, is primarily diagnosed in children, although it can develop in adults. Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, and gestational diabetes, which affects pregnant women, are two variants of the disease.

“There are approximately 387 million people living with diabetes, which is a large number,” Mahajan said. “More worryingly, that number is projected to increase by more than 205 million people by 2035. At the individual level it will cost a lot for medicine, but at the global level it will affect the nation. In the United States we have approximately 30 million people with diabetes. That means one in eleven people have diabetes, but one in four doesn’t know they have diabetes, much like prediabetes. That’s why it’s more alarming.

“Based on 2012 statistics … it is spending approximately $ 245 billion,” she added. “People with diabetes are 50 percent more likely to die than people without diabetes.”