10/24/2010 02:47 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Diabetes: Put Down that Cola and Pick up Celery!

A pivotal moment occurred recently when a friend - only 45 years old! - was hospitalized for diabetes related complications. And then the outcome - an amputation, an even more restricted diet and more medication...

According to Reuters, it is projected that the prevalence of diabetes in the next 40 years will increase from 1 in 10 adults to one-third of the adult population (when the odds are 1 in 3 people, it is a scary moment!) learning of a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

In general, diabetes is part of the aging process as more people lead sedentary lives and forget to change their diet from one of colas, chips and high-fructose snacks. With people living longer, and the lack of attention paid to this crisis, it is hoped that when people learn the following statistics, it will be a wake-up call to modify their diets and to exercise a bit more.

Did You Know This about Diabetes?

  • It is the #1 cause of new cases of blindness among adults under age 75
  • It is the #1 cause of kidney failure
  • It is the #1 cause of amputations for feet and legs not caused by injury
  • It is highly prevalent among African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, as well as the aged population

According to the American Diabetes Association, type 2 diabetes occurs when either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin, which means that sugars and starches used by the body for energy are not broken down and the glucose (sugars) build up in the blood.

The biggest issue is the population that is undiagnosed. Often by the time someone is diagnosed, there is significant damage done to ones body. For many people, they are in pre-diabetic stage and they do not modify their diet enough by continuing to drink alcohol (sugar!), eat candy (sugar!) or drink high-fructose corn syrup products like colas and juice (sugar!).

Before this happens to you or a loved one...think about my 45-year old friend who is still in the hospital. Please go to your doctor and get tested, and get your family could save your life or your limb!