November is Diabetes Awareness Month
National Diabetes Awareness Month is observed every November so people, health care providers, organizations, and communities of the entire country can be aware of the silent killer, which is diabetes, and its impact on the citizenry. We should be aware of the importance of managing diabetes leading to diabetes-related health problems such as heart disease, kidney disease, loss of eyesight, and amputation. This awareness month also serves as a reminder to people who may have such health problem that they are not alone. Knowing the risks involved, understanding the warning signs, and pursuing a healthier good eating habits and regular physical exercise, is critical for preventing diabetes.
Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes
Many people with diabetes experience one or more symptoms, including extreme thirst or hunger, a frequent need to urinate and/or fatigue. Some lose weight without trying. Additional signs include sores that heal slowly, dry, itchy skin, loss of feeling or tingling in the feet and blurry eyesight. Some of us with diabetes, however, have no symptoms at all or mild that we don’t notice it and has been just taken for granted.
Types of Diabetes
Medical science publications tells us that there are three types of diabetes namely, Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, and Gestational Diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes. We have diabetes when our body can’t use enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone which helps get blood glucose to all our body cells in order our body cells can work well. When we don’t have enough insulin, glucose builds up in our blood instead of going into the cells. It runs in families, so our family members are candidates also. Sometimes, this is called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes. This type of is the most common form (non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus) and is linked closely to overweight and obesity, high blood pressure, and abnormal cholesterol levels. Many people with type 2 diabetes are overweight. Being overweight can keep your body from using insulin properly. Genes also play an important role in a person’s risk for type 2 diabetes. Having certain genes or combinations of genes may increase or decrease a person’s risk for developing the disease.
Before people develop type 2 diabetes, they usually have prediabetes. It is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. People with prediabetes are more likely to develop diabetes within 10 years and also are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
Gestational Diabetes. Some women develop diabetes during the late stages of pregnancy. This is called gestational diabetes. Although this form of diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born, a woman who has had it has a lifelong risk for developing diabetes, mostly type 2 diabetes.
It is a reality that everyone of us cannot evade getting older, our family history, or ethnicity, but we can mitigate on ways to reduce our weight and waist circumference, increase our activity, and lower our blood pressure.
Eating a balanced diet that is rich in fiber, non-starchy vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fat can help get us to our goal weight and reduce our waist size and body mass index (BMI). By reducing our intake of sweetened beverages (juices, sodas) is the easiest way to lose weight and likewise reduce blood sugars. If you have high blood pressure and are salt sensitive, make it a point to reduce your intake of sodium; do not add salt to your food, read package labels for added sodium, and minimize your eating of fast foods. Don’t go on a diet, instead, adjust for a healthier way of eating that you’ll enjoying as time goes on.
Exercising regularly, about 30 minutes a day or 150 minutes per week, can also help to reduce your weight and blood pressure. Finally, if you smoke, make it your objective to stop your habit. Smoking can increase your risk of stroke, blood pressure, and heart attack, and quitting can reduce your risk of diabetes.
The good news is that if you have diabetes, as cited by a medical literature, you have a great amount of control in managing your disease. Even though it is not easy to manage a disease on a daily basis, the resources and support of other individuals with diabetes near you are more than enough. You can find someone to talk with. What is important that you receive relevant information as possible so that you can benefit from it. Do not let other persons intimidate you feeling like a diabetes diagnosis means your fate is already sealed.
Be Informed and Educated. American Diabetes Association (ADA) informs that all persons with diabetes receive diabetes self-management education (DSME) at diagnosis and thereafter. There are certified diabetes educators or other qualified health professional that can provide you the needed tools to understand and manage of your diabetes. These mentioned individuals are trained to identify a customized plan that works. Diabetes self-management education is a patient-centered approach that enables patients to get involved in their care.
Lose Weight. If you are overweight, losing weight can help your body use insulin. In fact, the American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes lose about 7 percent of their body weight, which should improve the way your body uses insulin and reduces insulin resistance. In addition, weight loss can help lower blood pressure, reduce joint pain, increase energy, and reduce sleep apnea and cholesterol. It can also reduce your risk of other diseases, including heart disease.
What you eat plays a major part in your diabetes control. Eating a balanced diet that is rich in non-starchy vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats can help you improve your nutrition, lose weight, and lower your blood sugars.
Seek Medical Professional. Whether you’ve had diabetes for a long time or you’ve just been diagnosed, there are physicians that are important to see. Your primary care physician is the best health care provider that can treat or advise you. They can also help coordinate appointments to other physicians if they believe that you need it.
Individuals with diabetes should also see an ophthalmologist after diagnosis. Diabetes can affect the eyes before it is even diagnosed. After the initial session, a person should be seen every two years if there are no issues, or more often if there are.
In addition, persons with diabetes should have a comprehensive foot exam by a podiatrist once they are diagnosed or if they are experiencing issues, such as tingling of the feet, pain, sores, hammer toes, thick dry skin, or fungal nails.
Blood Sugar Test. Blood sugar testing gives you another information which may help you change your diet and adjust your fitness routine or medications. Keeping your blood sugars at the desired level will help reduce diabetes complications.
Reduce Carbohydrate Intake. Consumption of carbohydrates are nutrients that mostly impacts blood sugars. Carbohydrates are generally found in starches, fruit, some vegetables like potatoes, sweets, and grains. Eating the right kinds of carbohydrate in proper quantities can help you manage your weight and your blood sugars. Knowing how to identify and count carbohydrate consumption is an important aspect in managing diabetes. A consistent carbohydrate diet foods is ideal because it can helps you body regulate blood sugars.
Exercise. We all understand that a physical activity is an important part of maintaining our healthy body of which exercise is important in managing blood sugars. Exercise also prevents complications of diabetes. And, besides, is an important part for your weight loss effort. It is not always easy to start an exercise activity, however, once your body get used to it, you may be surprised at how much you will enjoy it. So look an avenue for a physical activity into your daily routine. Even though for a few minutes a day it will go a long way. The American Diabetes Association recommends that adults with diabetes should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per week (spread over at least three days with no more than two consecutive days without exercise). You may start with five to 10 minutes a day and go from there. To be motivated you further, look for a friend or companion, get a fitness tracker, or use another measurable equipment that can check your progress.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that blood sugars be 80mg/dL-130mg/dL before meals and less than or equal to 180mg/dL two hours after meals. Blood sugar targets are individualized based on a variety of factors such as age, length of diagnosis, if you have other health issues, etc. For example, if you are an elderly person, your targets maybe a bit higher than someone else. Ask your physician what targets are right for you.
Knowing Your Medications. If you have diabetes, it is important to know and understand what your medications do. This can help to keep blood sugars controlled and prevent low and high blood sugars. Certain medicines need to be taken with food, or they will cause a blood sugar drop. There are so many diabetes medications sold. Inform your doctor right away if your medications are too expensive or if they are causing any side effects. If your medication regimen is not effective, your doctor can find a new medicine that might work better.