Diabetes Awareness Month helps educate people
by Laura Hollingshead, RN, CDE and Diabetes Program Coordiantor at CVH
Diabetes awareness helps the public know what to look for as part of their healthy intentions and prevention as well as educating those who may have the condition on how to deal with it related to their individual circumstances.
Attend the November Doc Talk Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 6 p.m. for our 'Stop Diabetes' presentation with Dr. Ann Lima at the Orofino Health Center.
There are three main types of diabetes:
- Type 1 which is found in 5-10 percent of the 29 million Americans with a diabetes diagnosis. This is usually found in young people, but can occur later in life as well. For people with type 1 diabetes their bodies either produce very little, or no, insulin and therefore they require insulin every day in order to live. The body attacks the insulin producing cells (this is known as an auto-immune response) which is why they need to inject insulin.
- Type 2 is the more common form of diabetes. The body still produces insulin, but something prevents that insulin from being able to perform its job properly. This form of diabetes is usually diagnosed at an older age than type 1, but has been building up for a long time. There are specific risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes, but even people with none of the risk factors can develop the disease. The risk factors include: 1) a family history of diabetes; 2) being overweight; 3) being inactive; 4) there are also certain races/ethnicities that have a higher incidence of type 2 diabetes based on genetics.
- The third type of diabetes is known as gestational diabetes and is found in some pregnant women. All pregnant women should receive a test for this type of diabetes when ordered by their medical provider.
Symptoms of diabetes are different in each person, but listed below are some of the most common signs:
- Being very thirsty
- Urinating a lot-often at night
- Having blurry vision from time to time
- Feeling very tired much of the time
- Losing weight without trying
- Having very dry skin
- Having sores that are slow to heal
- Getting more infections than usual
- Losing feeling or getting a tingling feeling in the feet
Not everyone has these symptoms and rarely do they happen all together. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms speak to your medical provider and if you are at risk, ask to be tested for diabetes. The earlier you are diagnosed the easier it is to control the process and reduce the risks of complications. As mentioned last week, those complications can be very nasty (loss of eyesight, painful neuropathy, kidney disease, and higher risk of comorbid conditions such as a heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer's disease).
The bad news is that there is no cure for diabetes (despite what the ads on the Internet tell you). The good news is that you can prevent, delay or control your diabetes and live a happy, normal, healthy life. There are many medications to help you control blood sugar so speak with your health care team about which might be best for you if you are diagnosed with diabetes. Additional things you can do to prevent, delay, or control diabetes are:
- Eat nutritious meals with a variety of foods and a rainbow of colors
- Decrease the amount of fried foods, processed foods, and fatty foods
- Increase your physical activity-in other words, move more
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
- Get adequate sleep in a regular pattern
- Reduce stress
- Be aware of how you feel and what is happening in your body.
- Obviously, if you are already diagnosed you should take your medication and check your blood glucose regularly.
If you have questions about whether you, a family member, or a friend may have pre-diabetes or diabetes please call Laura Hollingshead at 476-4555 ext. 8126 or email email@example.com. We hope you will join us on Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. for our 'Stop Diabetes' Doc Talk with Dr. Ann Lima at the Orofino Health Center. We are here to partner with you for a healthy life.
For further information on this and other health topics, visit the web site of the National Institute of Health at www.nih.gov.