With all the sweet treats, scrumptious meals and holiday traditions that center around this precious time of the year, it’s tough to be conscious about maintaining an adequate weight and healthy lifestyle. Thankfully, with November as National Diabetes Month, we can re-focus our attention on the physical, emotional and social effects that impact more than 30 million people living in the United States with diabetes.
Let’s start this journey off by getting down to the science and factual understanding behind what diabetes is, the different kinds of diabetes and how it affects our overall well being.
By definition, diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also known as blood sugar, is too high. Acting as the main source of your energy, blood glucose comes from the food that you eat. However, when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, a hormone created by the pancreas, the glucose stays in your blood and doesn’t reach your cells.
Having too much glucose in your system can cause health problems later in life. And although there is currently no cure for diabetes, there are ways to manage it and stay healthy.
The most common types of diabetes come in three forms:
Diabetes affects more people than you probably realize. In fact, over 30 million people or 9.4 percent of the population, are living with the disease in the United States, and studies show that more than 1 in 4 people don’t even know they’re living with it. More importantly, it affects 1 in 4 people living over the age of 65.
When looking for signs and symptoms of diabetes, you should consult your doctor if you have any of the following or more: increased thirst and urination, increased hunger, fatigue, blurred vision, numbness or tingling in the feet or hands, sores that do not heal, unexplained weight loss.
With the high chances of having Type 2 diabetes later in life, it’s good to start taking precautions now to help reduce your chances and to live a better, healthier lifestyle.
Although there is no cure and certain genetic factors that you can’t change, Type 2 diabetes, especially, can be managed through healthier lifestyle choices.
By sticking with the tips above, you can help yourself and your loved ones struggling with diabetes or help prevent it as much as possible from happening in the future.
Dealing with diabetes can affect you more than just physically; it can also affect you emotionally. So, taking care of yourself from the beginning is a good way to go about helping your overall well being.
Not only is it increasingly common for adults to at one point in their life experience Type 2 diabetes, the disease is also the leading cause of kidney failure in the United States.
Having diabetes means that the excess blood sugar can start to create problems on the blood vessels within the body and can cause severe health complications. It can severely damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and other body parts; it can also cause sexual problems and increase the risk of having a heart attack and stroke.
And diabetes doesn’t just stop with the physical ailments. Studies have shown that it can lead to sudden mood changes, which can ultimately impact your life at home, as well as in the workplace. For some, living with the stress of diabetic complications can also contribute to changes in your mood, as well as lead to feelings of nervousness, anxiety and confusion.
So, with the month of November being National Diabetes Month, the American Diabetes Association encourages everyone to start with one simple step: “Commit to a healthy lifestyle change by drinking more water, making a healthy meal or just getting moving.”
If you or someone that you know may be struggling with diabetes or pre-diabetes, take action today and consult with your doctor. They can help lead you down the path to a healthier lifestyle that could ultimately save your life.