November is American Diabetes Monthâ. Diabetes is a metabolic condition that raises blood sugar levels and can create many health complications.
It is likely that you know someone with diabetes —a friend, a family member or even yourself.
Here are some important stats:
- 3 million Americans have diabetes.
- Roughly 1 in 5 people don’t know they have it.
- Diabetes cases are highest among Black and Latinx adults.
Diabetes and Your Body
Insulin is an important hormone used to transport sugar from the blood to the cells where it can be stored or used as fuel. When you have diabetes, your body does not process insulin correctly. Your body either can’t use the insulin it makes or doesn’t produce the correct amount of insulin.
Left untreated, diabetes-related high blood sugar can harm your kidneys, nerves, eyes and other organs. However, you can safeguard your health by learning about diabetes and taking measures to prevent or control it.
Treatments for Diabetes
Diabetes can cause serious and even life-threatening consequences if it is not addressed. Complications can result in loss of essential bodily functions, including kidney failure, blindness, the necessity to amputate toes or feet, and even death — especially from cardiovascular disease.
Treatment involves dietary and activity adjustments to one’s lifestyle. If needed, insulin or other injectable medications can be used to treat diabetes. Those with Type 1 diabetes require insulin regularly. In order to maintain glucose control, people with Type 2 diabetes may begin treatment with oral medications; however, if diabetes can’t be controlled with medication, insulin may be needed.
It’s crucial to take diabetes medications exactly as they are prescribed by a doctor. Taking the correct dosage can significantly lower the risk of diabetes-related problems.
Prevention Is the Best Treatment
You might be able to prevent future diabetes-related major health consequences by making a few small changes to your current lifestyle.
Maintain a healthy weight. People in one significant trial who lost roughly 7% of their body weight through lifestyle improvements (healthier diet and increased exercise) saw a nearly 60% reduction in their chance of acquiring diabetes.
Stay active. Shoot for a minimum of 150 minutes of activity per week — moderate to strenuous aerobic activity is best. Your regimen should include at least 30 minutes of brisk walking, swimming, bicycling or running.
Eat a healthy diet. Foods high in fiber encourage weight loss and reduce the incidence of diabetes. Consume a range of fiber-rich, healthy meals, including leafy greens, broccoli and cauliflower.
If you have health concerns related to diabetes or any other medical issue, Community Access Network is here to help. We can diagnose, treat and assist you in making long-term plans to deal with whatever health issues come your way. Give us a call at 434-818-7880 or walk into our clinic today to make an appointment. You can also learn more about our services at https://www.communityaccessnetwork.org/