November 30, 2021
November is American Diabetes Month, a time to take action, learn more, and start taking the steps to find out if you are or could be diabetic. In this blog topic we’re going to talk about what diabetes is, what prediabetes is, and what you can do do help prevent diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
There are different types of Diabetes; Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational diabetes. Each type can be managed differently based on the individual needs of your body.
- Type 1 Diabetes can occur at any age and in anyone. In this type of diabetes, your body does not produce insulin. As your body breaks down carbohydrates from food and turns them into blood sugar, the insulin is needed to remove glucose from the bloodstream and into the cells of your body. This condition can easily be managed with healthy choices including proper diet and exercise.
- Type 2 Diabetes is the more common form and results when your body does not properly use the insulin your body naturally produces while others can manage blood sugar levels with the right diet and exercise. Some individuals require insulin to help manage the condition. Diet and exercise are two of the key components to managing type 2 diabetes.
- Gestational Diabetes occurs in pregnant women and while the cause is still unknown, there are different ways to treat and manage it so that mom and baby are healthy. By working with your doctor to keep blood sugar levels normal, eat proper meals, exercise regularly, and manage with regular testing or insulin injections, you can manage the condition. Keep in mind that just because you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, does not mean that you had diabetes before getting pregnant.
There are also a few types of diabetes that are very specific and are caused by other diseases. These types are often rare and only a few people develop. To learn more about the types listed below, click here to visit the specific American Diabetes Association page.
- Monogenic diabetes syndrome
- Diseases of the exocrine pancreas such as cystic fibrosis and pancreatitis
- Drug/chemical-induced diabetes
What is Prediabetes?
Often we hear people discussing prediabetes or being prediabetic. What this means is that a person is exhibiting signs of type 2 diabetes but it does not mean that they have it. Speaking with your doctor and getting tested along with proper diet and exercise can help to prevent diabetes.
What factors increase the chances of developing prediabetes?
- Age 45 or older
- Are Black, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander
- Have a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes
- Physically inactive
- Have high blood pressure or take medication for high blood pressure
- Have low HDL cholesterol and/or high triglycerides
- Had diabetes during pregnancy
- Have been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome
What are symptoms of diabetes?
There are certain symptoms that are associated with diabetes and if you notice that you or someone you know is exhibiting these symptoms, you should consult with your doctor.
- Lose weight without trying
- Numb or tingling hands/feet
- Feeling overly tired
- Dry skin
- Frequent urination (this often occurs at night)
- Extremely thirsty
- Blurry vision
- Sores that heal slowly
- Have more infections than normal
For more details, visit the CDC website.
The StayWell Health Center Team
*Information gathered from the American Diabetes Association