More than 100 million Americans have a high risk of developing diabetes or already have been diagnosed with the condition. Due to such a high number of the population being exposed to the early development of the disease, you may already know someone that has it or you may have received the diagnosis yourself.
There are various things that you may not have known about the condition itself. Did you know that you can have diabetes or even prediabetes and not know it? Increasing awareness is of growing importance because diabetes when uncontrolled can affect different aspects of your health. You may not have known that diabetes can affect your dental and skin health. Your digestive health is also at stake because the condition can damage the nerves that control how food moves throughout your intestines.
You may also be at significant risk for a stroke, high cholesterol, or heart disease because of the condition and if you weren’t already aware, high levels of stress can increase your blood sugar levels. Here’s the thing, diabetes can be very manageable and prediabetes can be stopped before it takes control if it’s caught early enough and treated appropriately.
Many people don’t realize the effect that diabetes can have on different aspects of their lives. The important thing to realize here is that not enough people are aware and the first step to increasing awareness is to become knowledgeable about the topic yourself so you can share what you know with others. Let’s increase awareness so that diabetes or the complications of the condition itself doesn’t make a surprise visit into your life.
What Is Diabetes?
Also called; Diabetes Mellitus, which is essentially a long-lasting health condition that will affect how your body converts food into energy. Think about it this way, it’s a group of diseases that doesn’t allow your body to produce enough insulin. In simpler terms, your body is unable to properly use the insulin that it does produce. In turn, this keeps your body from getting sugar from your blood into your body’s cells and this is what leads to high blood sugar levels.
There are a few different types of diabetes. There is type 1, type 2, pre-diabetes, and gestational diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition where the pancreas produces very little to no insulin. Type 2 on the other hand, is also chronic but affects the way that your body can process blood sugar or in other terms, glucose. Prediabetes is a condition where your blood sugar is high but not yet high enough to be considered type 2. Gestational diabetes is a type of high blood sugar that affects pregnant women.
Due to what the condition can alter and the fact that it can affect anyone despite their age group or background, awareness must be increased so that we can contribute to the decrease of the chances that people have of developing diabetes and not knowing or not having it treated.
How Do You Prevent, Treat and Manage Diabetes
Diabetes can be prevented; you just have to know what you can do to decrease your chances of developing the condition. Here are a few things that you can do to avoid developing diabetes.
- Stay active
- Maintain a healthy weight
- If you’re a smoker, work on quitting
- Try cutting sugar and refined carbohydrates from your usual diet
- Make hydration a priority, drink tons of water
- Try to stay away from fad diets
Oftentimes, being overweight or having more of an inactive lifestyle with a lot of sedentary behavior can lead to a form of diabetes. Although these aren’t always the main causes of the condition, it does consist of about 90 to 95% of multiple diabetes cases throughout the United States.
What To Look Out For
Stay aware of symptoms and early warning signs. Here are a few to look out for:
- An increase in thirst or hunger
- Numbness or tingling in your hands or feet
- Blurry vision
- Was that take a long time to heal
- Frequent Urination
Although knowing the early signs and symptoms of diabetes won’t always guarantee that you won’t develop the condition, it will certainly help and significantly decrease your chances of getting it. Always listen to your body and know when to see your doctor if you ever have any concerns. Your doctor will usually be able to provide you with a prevention plan that’s specifically tailored to you and based on your past and current medical histories.
Increasing awareness of Type 2 diabetes and other forms of diabetes itself is one reason why November is so important. National Diabetes Awareness Month is dedicated to increasing awareness of the warning signs of pre-diabetes, education on how to prevent diabetes as well as the overall epidemic of the condition across the country, and to keeping you healthy.
Diabetes doesn’t just affect adults but children as well so let’s do our best to increase awareness because every voice counts.