November is National Diabetes Awareness Month
This month, we take some time to talk about diabetes and how it impacts your health and wellness.
What is diabetes?
It is a chronic health condition that affects how your body breaks down sugar and releases it into the bloodstream. For those who have diabetes, the body either does not make enough insulin, or the insulin it does make isn't being used properly by the body. This results in blood sugar (glucose) levels not being regulated.
There is no cure for diabetes, but there are preventative steps people can take to lessen their chances of developing diabetes, and there is medication available and lifestyle changes suggested for those who already have diabetes.
Most people who have diabetes have Type 2 Diabetes, which means their bodies cannot keep their blood sugar at normal levels. Type 2 Diabetes usually develops over time and will sometimes not present any symptoms early on.
Other kinds of diabetes are:
Type 1, which is an autoimmune response that stops the body from making insulin. This is sometimes called childhood diabetes, as it usually diagnosed earlier in life. Those with Type 1 Diabetes need to take insulin every day.
Gestational Diabetes is a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy in an individual who otherwise was not diabetic. Gestational Diabetes can result in health risks for the developing fetus. It is important for pregnant people to have their blood sugar checked during their pregnancy to test for Gestational Diabetes.
Prediabetes is what happens when blood sugar levels are elevated but not enough to be diagnosed as Type 2 Diabetes. More than 1 in 3 adults in the United States have prediabetes and many do not even realize it. If you have prediabetes, it is important you make lifestyle changes to help reverse it before it develops into Type 2 Diabetes.
Steps You Can Take
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you should talk to your doctor about proper medication and necessary lifestyle changes for your diagnosis. Diabetes can be managed through medication, nutrition, and exercise.
If you want to decrease your likelihood of developing diabetes, you should:
Eat Well: A balanced diet without eliminating any macronutrients is important. You do not need to eliminate carbs all together, but you should primarily choose complex, high fiber, whole grains in moderation along with quality proteins and healthy fats.
Maintain a Healthy Weight: Diabetes is often associated with obesity. If you have questions about how Ultimate Bariatrics can help you reach a healthy weight and how that may affect your blood sugar, please give us a call to schedule a consult.
Get Active: People who exercise are more sensitive to insulin--meaning the body regulates blood sugar better. Exercise also lowers your risk for heart disease, high cholesterol, and obesity! It also makes you sleep better and feel happier.
According to the CDC, over 30 million people are diabetic. Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States, and is the #1 cause of kidney failure, amputations, and adult blindness. Diabetes is a serious disease, but thankfully, with medication and lifestyle changes, treatment can be very successful.