Health Minute: Diabetes Awareness Month
According to the CDC, 34.2 million Americans – just over 1 in 10 people - have diabetes and approximately 1 in 3 people have prediabetes. This month for Diabetes Awareness Month Ogechi Anyaoku, MD with Adventist HealthCare shares some tips on how to manage diabetes.
What are the different types of diabetes?
Diabetes affects your body’s response to insulin, a hormone in your body that breaks down glucose. If you are diabetic your body cannot process insulin well and your blood sugar levels spike. There are three major types of diabetes.
· Type 1 Diabetes occurs when your immune system attacks itself by mistake and prevents your body from producing insulin, and usually is diagnosed in children and young adults.
· Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and often develops over time from having high blood pressure, living an unhealthy lifestyle or if you have a family history of type 2 diabetes.
· Gestational Diabetes develops during pregnancy and can lead to premature birth, seizures and other serious health problems.
How can you recognize symptoms?
Common diabetes symptoms can include:
· Frequent urination
· Feeling very thirsty or hungry
· Extreme fatigue
· Blurry vision
· Cuts or bruises that are slow to heal
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, reach out to your doctor. They can help you develop a diabetes management plan that works for you. Early detection and treatment can reduce your risk of serious complications, including blindness, kidney and heart disease, or stroke.
What are some tips for management?
While there is currently no cure for diabetes, it is very treatable. People with diabetes can live long, happy lives if they manage their condition effectively. Some management tips are:
· Know your diabetes ABC’s: Talk to your doctor about how to manage your A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
· Eat well: Avoid foods high in saturated fat, sugar and salts. Work with your doctor to create a diabetes meal plan.
· Stay Active: Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity a day at least 5 times a week.
· Create a daily plan to monitor your health: This may include taking prescribed medication, checking your feet for cuts, blisters or swelling, keeping track of your blood sugar or checking your blood pressure. Do you know your risk for diabetes? Take our FREE Type 2 Diabetes Health Risk Assessment to find out.