When you think about diabetes, a few common associations probably come to mind: blood sugar, insulin, and diet. But did you know that there are different types of diabetes? Or that it’s one of the fastest-growing diseases among adults in America? Or that it affects nearly 40 million people in the U.S. and cases of diabetes have almost doubled since 1990?
Do we have your attention now? Maybe you haven’t thought about it lately, but perhaps it's time to check your blood sugar levels. As we approach the holidays, many of us are secretly excited about the food more than the presents. In light of American Diabetes month, AFC Urgent Care Dedham wants you to stay educated about diabetes so that you can avoid this condition altogether. Keep reading!
Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes Are the Most Common
People often confuse type 1 diabetes with type 2 diabetes. However, these types of diabetes are very different.
If you have type 1 diabetes, your body isn’t producing insulin. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition, which means your body attacks a particular organ. In this case, the body attacks the pancreas, the organ that produces insulin. Most people with type 1 diabetes must inject insulin daily to control the condition. Type 1 diabetes often develops in people who are younger, and it’s not always preventable.
Type 2 diabetes is much more common, and it usually develops later in life. Your body makes insulin, but it can’t use it as well as it should. There are different degrees of Type 2 diabetes, and often times you may be able to control it with lifestyle changes, like a healthy diet and exercise.
Prediabetes CAN sneak up on you!
According to the CDC, approximately 96 million American adults—more than 1 in 3—have prediabetes. And a big percentage of people with prediabetes aren’t aware that they have it. This is dangerous territory.
If you have prediabetes, you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The good news is that by making some changes to your lifestyle, you can delay or even prevent type 2 diabetes.
If you’re diagnosed with prediabetes, it’s important to make changes now, not later, to prevent developing type 2 diabetes. These changes include eating a healthy diet, being active, and reducing your weight if you’re overweight. If you have prediabetes and make changes to prevent type 2 diabetes, there is a good chance that your condition will stay at the prediabetes stage. However, if you don’t make changes, you’ll likely progress to type 2 diabetes.
Gestational Diabetes Can Cause Complications
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. If you have gestational diabetes, your body can’t properly break down sugars from carbohydrates as energy. Instead, the sugars are stored in the body as fat and/or are released into the bloodstream as ketones from the breakdown of fats.
If you have gestational diabetes, it’s important to closely monitor your blood sugar levels throughout your pregnancy. You’ll likely need to make changes to your diet to control your blood sugar, including eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. You may also need to take diabetes medication.
According to the CDC, gestational diabetes usually goes away after pregnancy, but it should still be a concern as it can cause complications with your baby as well as increase both you and your baby’s chance of developing type 2 diabetes later on in life.
Tips On How To Manage Your Diabetes
If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you’ll likely need to make some changes to your lifestyle. If you are diabetic, these are the best ways to control and manage your condition:
1) Get tested for diabetes. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms, you should get your a1c levels tested. The sooner you know you have diabetes, the sooner you can start managing it.
2) Eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet can help you control your blood sugar levels, prevent complications, and improve your overall health. A healthy diet includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish, and low-fat dairy products.
3) Exercise regularly. Any type of exercise is beneficial for your health, but aerobic exercises, such as walking or swimming, can also help you manage your blood sugar levels.
4) Take your medication as prescribed. Many medications used to treat diabetes are taken as pills or injections. Some lifestyle changes may be enough to control your blood sugar, but others may require medication.
5) Get enough sleep. Getting enough sleep is important for your overall health and can help you control your blood sugar levels. Six to eight hours per night is the recommended amount for most adults.
6) Stay hydrated. Many people with diabetes are at an increased risk of dehydration, so it’s important to stay hydrated.
Get your blood sugar levels checked at AFC Urgent Care Dedham
Diabetes is a serious health threat. If you or a loved one is worried about diabetes, we encourage you to get your blood sugar levels checked at AFC Urgent Care Dedham. We are affordable, convenient and we provide quality care to all of our friends and families in the Dedham community.