November marks the month of American Diabetes Month. Each November communities across the country observe this month to bring attention to diabetes and its impact on millions of Americans. Diabetes if one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. It can cause blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, and other health problems if it’s not controlled.
So let’s break down Diabetes to give you a better understanding of what it is. Diabetes is a chronic, long lasting disease that effects how your body turns food into energy. Most of the food you eat is broken down into sugar also called glucose and released into your bloodstream. Your pancreas makes a hormone called insulin, which acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your body’s cells for use as energy. If you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin nor can’t use the insulin it makes as well as it should. When there isn’t enough insulin or cells, your body stops responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream which over time can cause serious effects. There are two types of diabetes type 1 and type 2.
Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction (the body attacks itself by mistake) that stops your body from making insulin. About 5% of the people who have diabetes have type 1. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes often develop quickly. It’s usually diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults. If you have type 1 you will need to make insulin every day to survive. Symptoms include: increased thirst, frequent urination, hunger, fatigue and blurred vision. Treatment aims at maintaining normal blood sugar levels through regular monitoring, insulin therapy, diet and exercise. Treatment can help but this condition cannot be cured and it can last for years or can be lifelong.
Type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t use insulin well and is unable to keep blood sugar at normal levels. So your body either doesn’t produce enough insulin, or it resists insulin. Most people with diabetes, 9 out of 10 have type 2 diabetes. It develops over many years and is usually diagnosed in adults. You may not notice any symptoms, so it’s important to get your blood sugar tests if you’re at risk. Some symptoms are: increased thirst, frequent urination, hunger, fatigue, and blurred vision. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with healthy lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, healthy eating and getting regular exercise.
Diabetes by the numbers
- 3 million US adults have diabetes, and 1 in 4 of them doesn’t know they have it.
- Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.
- Diabetes if the number one cause of kidney failure, lower limb amputations, and adult-onset blindness.
- In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than tripled as the American population has aged and become more overweight or obese.
If you or a loved one has diabetes please stand up and take a stand! This is your month; this is your time to raise awareness. Don’t let this disease control your life, take control of it!
Please call Relevar Home Care today to get help with managing your diabetes at (586-) 493-7677. We service many counties including St. Clair and Macomb.