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Understanding and Preventing Diabetes

Diabetes Awareness

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 million people die from diabetes each year. That means this often preventable disease causes more deaths than breast cancer and AIDS combinedNovember is Diabetes Awareness Month. It’s a good time to make sure you understand the condition and how you can limit your risk.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic (or lifelong) disease that occurs when your body does not respond to insulin or is unable to make insulin. If diabetes isn’t treated, it can lead to kidney failure, heart disease, nerve damage and
even blindness.

There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder and cannot be prevented. However, type 2 diabetes can sometimes result from a sedentary lifestyle and poor nutrition.

How Can Diabetes Affect Me?

  • You may often feel tired or fatigued.
  • You may have to deal with increased thirst or hunger.
  • You may struggle with unusual weight change, loss or gain.
  • You might experience changes in your vision.
  • You may have an increased risk of  heart disease.
  • You may feel a numbness or tingling of your hands and feet.

What factors put me at risk?

  • Family history of diabetes Age 45 or older
  • Being overweight
  • Insulin resistance

How can I take action?

Together, you and your doctor can discuss the most effective way to treat your condition. Common treatments
for diabetes include diet, exercise and medications. To self-manage your condition, you will need to do the
following.
 Eat well. Make sure your diet includes vegetables, fruits and healthy proteins. To best manage your
diabetes, speak with your doctor or a dietician for specific guidelines. It is important to learn about the
different types of carbohydrates and how they affect your blood sugar levels.
 Exercise regularly. Getting active is important for managing your blood glucose levels and the benefits
of regular exercise will improve your overall health and quality of life. Get your doctor’s permission before
starting an exercise program.
 Recognize the signs. Learning the symptoms of high and low blood sugar levels can help you more
effectively manage your condition.
 Learn how to test and record your blood glucose levels. An important part of self-managing
your diabetes will be testing yourself with a glucometer or testing kit. Your doctor or nurse can help you
select the equipment that is best for you.

 


 Discussion

1 comment

  1.  Peggy Murphy says:

    Type 2 diabetes seems to be the new epidemic in the US. Certainly our typical American diet and sedentary lifestyle does not help. It is sad to see the numbers rising in children, not just adults, as children engage in less activity with technological advances. I was thinking these devices out now where you don’t even need to get up to change the channel of the tv if you can’t reach the remote or ordering everything online where you don’t need to go to the store, etc. are not always a good thing for someone physically capable of doing these activities. It does promote less movement and day to day activity for convenience.

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