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Understanding and Managing Diabetes

November is National Diabetes Month and a time to bring attention to the management of the disease. According to the American Diabetes Association, 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes each year.

In adults, type 1 diabetes accounts for approximately 5% of all diagnosed cases while type 2 diabetes accounts for 95%.

In type 1 diabetes, the body does not make enough insulin, a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body.  This type can occur at any age, in people of any race, sex, shape or size. But the good news is that this condition can be managed.  With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, these patients can often have long and healthy lives.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease and affects over 28 Million Americans.  In people with type 2 diabetes, the body does not use insulin properly and is insulin resistant. Essentially the body doesn’t function correctly which results in an elevated level of blood glucose.  While some people can control their blood glucose levels with simple lifestyle changes, others may need medication or insulin to help manage it.

A key part of managing type 2 diabetes is maintaining a healthy diet. By working with your doctor or a nutritionist, you can learn how different foods, the amount you eat and the combinations that you eat can affect your blood sugar levels.  Gaining this knowledge can help you develop a plan that best suits your lifestyle and controls your diabetes.  

Physical activity is another important part of a diabetes management plan. When you exercise, your muscles use sugar (glucose) for energy. Regular physical activity also helps your body use insulin more efficiently.  The more strenuous the exercise, the longer the effects last.  But even light activities can improve your blood sugar levels.  The key is to find activities you love and do them as often as you can.

At American Family Care we work hard to support diabetics every day of the year, not just in November. With fast treatments, minimal wait times and highly trained medical technicians, we’re glad to help those dealing with diabetes live a healthier life.  Visit your local AFC today.

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