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Diabetes is a chronic disease caused by improper insulin function. This leads to overly high blood sugar. The three types of diabetes include type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes. Prediabetes, where blood sugar is high but not over the diabetic threshold, increases your risk for type 2 diabetes.
People of all ages, ethnicities and sizes can get diabetes. Nearly 50 percent of U.S. adults have diabetes or prediabetes, according to a
Receiving a diabetes diagnosis can feel shocking or overwhelming. The illness has some serious potential complications, such as blindness and amputation. And it’s the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Treatment often requires immediate and significant lifestyle adjustments. However, with careful management, you can still enjoy a varied diet and active lifestyle.
There are plenty of people out there who refuse to let diabetes stop them from thriving. If you’re seeking some inspiration or information, look no further than these videos.
A healthy diet plays a huge role in managing diabetes. Drew Canole, CEO of fitlife.tv, shares insights into superfoods that help keep diabetes in check. Canole says these superfoods will help you regulate glucose levels and lower insulin levels.
One such superfood is the Moringa leaf. He says studies have indicated it lowers blood sugar levels by up to 29 percent. Why not give his diabetes-busting smoothie recipe a try?
Get a glimpse into the Dale tribe and meet Amy and Aspen Dale. Amy narrates you through her daughter Aspen’s experience of receiving a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. She describes the testing that Aspen undergoes to receive her diagnosis and documents Aspen’s initial treatment in the hospital.
The Dale family shares their first steps in learning how to manage the lifelong illness. They even show Aspen’s training for injecting insulin. Check out other videos to see a day in Aspen’s life and what a low blood sugar emergency is like.
Having diabetes doesn’t mean you need to give up sports. Melanie Stephenson is an international athlete with type 1 diabetes. In fact, having diabetes was actually what led her to try sports for the first time. Exercise helps her feel better. It regulates her blood glucose and reduces her insulin need. She highlights Active Pals, a project helping children with type 1 diabetes play sports. Her message to you: “Give it a go!”
Chloe helps you imagine what it’s like for kids with diabetes. This collector of American Girl dolls showcases her new American Girl diabetes kit. She got the kit because her friend has type 1 diabetes. She uses the American Girl set to show how kids test, log, and manage sugar levels. She explains the need for insulin shots to control sugar, like when eating foods like birthday cake. She encourages everyone to keep learning about diabetes and to support diabetes research.
Proper diabetes care includes much more than insulin injections. Frances Ryan wants to educate others about type 1 diabetes care in hopes of encouraging more empathy. Ryan outlines how managing diabetes is a 24/7 process. She uses insights and statistics to highlight the many responsibilities people with diabetes shoulder.
For example, they perform an average of 4,836 tests and injections per year. Ryan also details symptoms and treatment challenges of hypoglycemia. She touches upon social challenges too, like judgment for testing sugar levels in public.
Brooklyn is 13 years old and has type 1 diabetes. Her support network was essential as a child, and it still is today as a teen. But as she grows older, she’s gaining more independence. Guiding Brooklynn’s transition to self-care of her diabetes is important.
Her parents share their perspective, including fears about letting go of their control. They discuss challenges around changing boundaries as Brooklynn seeks increased privacy and autonomy over her body. Brooklynn also gives you a glimpse into everyday considerations, like hiding her insulin pump.
Being a part of a team has helped Ben feel comfortable opening up about diabetes. Ben received a diabetes diagnosis when he was 6 years old. Frustrations around managing his diabetes began in middle school.
Wanting to feel like everyone else, he tried to hide his diabetes. He began lying to his parents about testing his blood glucose throughout the day. Playing sports changed Ben’s attitude. He didn’t want to let his teammates down by trying to hide his illness. See how support from both his team and his band has helped him talk about his diabetes.
Alexys Fleming is out to break the stigma around diabetes. A body painter and makeup artist, Fleming turns her illness into art.
After receiving her diagnosis, Fleming experienced a very difficult time. Amid the backdrop of Fleming’s body art transformation, she opens up about her early struggles: Her classmates bullied and abandoned her. She experienced increased stress and blood sugar spikes. Fleming shares her confusion around symptoms and common misconceptions about the causes of diabetes. But she doesn’t let any of it stop her — the disease is helping make her who she is today.
This video, also by Alexys Fleming, tackles the common stigmas and judgments she’s encountered on her journey with diabetes. For example, having diabetes isn’t just having a sugar sensitivity. It’s a serious disease with potentially serious complications if you don’t take good care of yourself. Watch her debunk other assumptions and myths and counter ignorant remarks.
This video cites that of the 135 lower limbs amputated weekly in England, 80 percent could be prevented. A pop-up shoe store highlights the need for better diabetes foot care. Every shoe on display has a story. They once belonged to someone who’s lost a limb to diabetes. The entire wall of shoes — the product of only one week of amputations — sends an incredibly powerful message.
PBS News Hour covers the World Health Organization’s (WHO) report of an alarming surge in diabetes cases. The WHO estimates that 422 million people around the world live with diabetes. Rates are four times higher than levels 40 years ago, especially in developing countries.
They estimate that 3.7 million people die from diabetes-related issues each year. Dr. Etienne Krug from the WHO discusses why changing habits are linked to this dramatic increase. He also highlights economic costs and the need for governmental reform and better treatment access.
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease. It impacts people of all sizes, races, origins, and ages. In this video, real people living with diabetes share their fears and how they adjust to the disease. They also open up about the importance of a strong support system and frustrations with stigma. They encourage you to help the nonprofit JDRF find a cure.
Steve Rodriguez loves CrossFit. He also has type 1 diabetes. He was drawn to the exercise regimen not only to become more fit, but also because it promotes healthy eating choices like the paleo diet. He’s been logging workouts of the day (WODs) and blood sugar levels to show how CrossFit increases diabetic health.
For example, fairly soon after beginning his training, Rodriguez was able to decrease his insulin intake. He’s also learned which workouts lower his blood sugar more than others. Rodriguez urges others with diabetes to give CrossFit a try. Those in the Vancouver area can even train with him at his gym.
This video from the WHO highlights the increasing rates of diabetes. It educates viewers about what diabetes is, what causes it, and the different types. It also talks about the possible complications of the disease, like blindness and kidney failure. See how you can take action today to lower your risk of getting diabetes.
Ellyse Gentry walks you through changing an Omnipod insulin monitor and pump. Gentry has transitioned from syringes to pens to her pump, which she prefers. Gentry shares her personal decisions about the best placement of the pod and walks you through her tips for removing an old Omnipod and applying a new one. She also offers helpful advice for keeping your pump tightly affixed if you play sports.
Diabetes specialist Sarah Hallberg wants to show you that type 2 diabetes can be reversed. And she wants to change the way doctors advise their patients. She explains how someone may have insulin resistance for decades. Insulin resistance can lead to diabetes, and it’s responsible for 42 percent of heart attacks, she says.
Learn why she’s going against the American Diabetes Association guidelines and how her approach has helped people. Hallberg also shares her 10 rules to eating healthier. This low-carb lifestyle may even have implications for other diseases (like cancer) — and your wallet.
Type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed in childhood. However, many of the educational materials out there are geared toward adults. This video, produced by the Australian Diabetes Council and Beetlebox Animation, is perfect for kids.
Professor Bumblebee explains how the human digestive system functions. He also shares what diabetes means for your body, including symptoms and disease management, and how to protect against blood sugar dips and spikes.
Photographer Teri Lyne is capturing the heart and soul of kids with type 1 diabetes. Lyne was motivated to photograph their bravery in the face of diabetes as Lyne herself has two children with the disease. She immortalizes these children’s indomitable spirits, often highlighting their passions, like baseball and swimming. Get inspired by their positive attitudes.
Casey Barker opens up about his most private moments from his journey through type 1 diabetes. He’s frank as he chronicles his early denial about his illness and devastating personal events. He shares the shock of his diagnosis and fears of how his life would change.
Barker also talks about how he wasn’t properly caring for himself, despite having been close to slipping into a diabetic coma. Now that he’s about to be a father, he’s determined to take better care of himself.
Catherine is a journalist passionate about health, public policy, and women’s rights. She writes on a range of nonfiction topics, from entrepreneurship to women’s issues as well as fiction. Her work has appeared in Inc., Forbes, The Huffington Post, and other publications. She’s a mom, wife, writer, artist, travel enthusiast, and lifelong student.