Find Out If You’re At Risk for Diabetes During National Diabetes Awareness Month
Whether you know someone who has been diagnosed with diabetes, or if you’ve been living with either Type 1 or Type 2 of the disease for a few years, November – which is National Diabetes Month – is a great time to learn as much as you can about this disease which affects 1 in 4 Americans.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes can be identified as two distinct types: Type 1, which affects 5 to 10 out of every 100 people diagnosed with diabetes and is classified by the body’s rejection of insulin. In Type 1 diabetes the body’s immune system destroys insulin-releasing cells which prevent cells from being able to absorb glucose (or sugar).
Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, accounts for 90-95 out of 100 people who have diabetes, and is caused by the body’s inability to use insulin (called “insulin resistance”) and is most often caused by weight gain and poor health choices.
Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, but Type 2, which is the most common of the two types, can be prevented by taking precautionary steps such as:
● Managing your weight. Excessive weight gain is one of the most common factors which can contribute to the onset of Type 2 diabetes.
● Eating well. Including lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and staying away from starches, carbohydrates, and refined sugars can help keep diabetes at bay.
● Exercising. Living a healthy and active lifestyle can go a long way towards preventing the onset of Type 2 diabetes.
Managing Diabetes & Preventing Complications
Being diagnosed with diabetes isn’t a death sentence; in fact, most people go on to live long, healthy lives after their diagnosis.
Below are a few things you can do every day to manage your diabetes and prevent any issues or complications.
● Check your feet. Diabetes can affect your blood circulation, and your feet are the first place where signs that something is wrong begin to appear, because they are the farthest part of your body from your heart. Checking your feet every day can help you recognize changes as soon as they happen.
● Floss your teeth. People with diabetes are more susceptible to gum disease, so make sure to brush and floss every day to prevent the buildup of decay.
Finding a Support System
If managing your diabetes feels like too much to handle on your own, don’t be afraid to reach out and find support within your community.
Many cities across the United States have support groups for people who have been diagnosed with diabetes, and talking to others who are sharing your struggles can go a long way towards positive mental health.
Get Involved Locally
World Diabetes Day is November 14th, and if you visit the International Diabetes Federation’s website at www.idf.org you can easily find out about diabetes-related events happening in your area.
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