American Diabetes Month: 4 Reasons Why You Should Monitor Your Blood Sugar Levels

November 7, 2022

Person testing their blood sugar levels before heading over to AFC Urgent Care Marlborough for a full physical examination

It’s American Diabetes Awareness Month and AFC Urgent Care Marlborough encourages you to know your risk factors and 4 reasons why you should monitor your blood sugar levels. The holiday season is around the corner, and we all know we’re going to be stuffing our faces with holiday sweets and treats.  

The truth is millions of people are affected by this chronic health condition in the U.S and the numbers are on the rise each year. There are also millions who live their lives undiagnosed or who are not aware of the symptoms and signs that could be leading them to one of the more serious types of diabetes. 

For this reason, AFC Urgent Care Marlborough is here to educate you on diabetes and to give you 4 reasons why you should monitor your blood sugar levels before and after the holiday season.

  1. Don’t Become Another Diabetes Statistic!

Diabetes is more common than you think. If you’ve ever answered yes to the question, ‘Do you have a family history of diabetes’, then you should be worried for your own health too. Every year there is always updated information on the disease and people affected by Diabetes and its different types. 

A recent study on Diabetes in the United States from the CDC shows that:

  • Prevalence: In 2019, 37.3 million Americans, or 11.3% of the population, had diabetes.
  • Nearly 1.9 million Americans have type 1 diabetes, including about 244,000 children and adolescents
  • Diagnosed and undiagnosed: Of the 37.3 million adults with diabetes, 28.7 million were diagnosed, and 8.5 million were undiagnosed.
  • Prevalence in seniors: The percentage of Americans age 65 and older remains high, at 29.2%, or 15.9 million seniors (diagnosed and undiagnosed).
  • New cases: 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year.
  • Prediabetes: In 2019, 96 million Americans aged 18 and older had prediabetes.
  • In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled as the American population has aged, eaten poorly and/or become more overweight or obese.
  • People with diabetes are twice as likely to have heart disease or a stroke than people without. 

Diabetes is on the rise, and the number of pre-diabetics is alarming (!!!). Pre-Diabetics have elevated blood sugar levels but are not high enough yet to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Do you or a loved one fit that population of being prediabetic? If so, it is important to get your blood sugar levels checked regularly as diabetes can affect anyone at any age. 

  1. Know Your Risks and The Symptoms of Diabetes

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may be at risk for developing prediabetes and/or one of the few types of diabetes. Some might say it feels like a rollercoaster when symptoms are triggered:

Symptoms of diabetes

  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Increased hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Numbness or tingling in the feet or hands
  • Sores that do not heal
  • Unexplained weight loss

Risks for diabetes

  • Have prediabetes
  • Are overweight (childhood obesity counts)
  • Are 45 years or older
  • Have a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes
  • Are physically active less than 3 times a week
  • Have ever had gestational diabetes or given birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
  • Have high blood pressure or take medicine for high blood pressure
  • Have high cholesterol blood levels

These risk factors and symptoms are more than enough of reason for you to check your blood sugar levels more often!

  1. Diabetes raises your risk for other dangerous health conditions

This year's American Diabetes Awareness Month's main focus focuses on the link between the disease and cardiovascular disease. Having diabetes raises your risk for developing other dangerous conditions such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Heart Attack
  • Stroke 
  • Kidney disease 
  • Nerve damage
  • Eye problems

Your lifestyle can say a lot about your physical health. If you also smoke, you’re increasing your risk of developing one or more of these other health complications. This is because smoking narrows blood vessels, which makes it harder for your heart to function as it should. 

  1. If you’re pregnant you’re also at risk for gestational diabetes

Gestational Diabetes can affect both the mother and child during and after pregnancy. During their final trimester, pregnant women are at risk of developing gestational diabetes due to an increase in hormones. It’s important during this time to make sure you protect your newborn from developing diabetes by managing it with a doctor beforehand. If you do develop gestational diabetes, you still have a chance to prevent yourself from developing type 2 diabetes down the road. In addition, protecting your child now will prevent them from developing diabetes early on in their lives as well.

AFC Urgent Care Marlborough encourages everyone to get screened for diabetes and to get an a1c test regularly 

Having your blood sugar levels checked regularly reduces your risk of developing diabetes. If you need to get your blood sugar levels checked before and after the holidays, you can walk right in, or make an appointment online at AFC Urgent Care Marlborough any day of the week!

 

We will screen you and if necessary, refer you to a diabetes specialist for further evaluation. We also accept most insurances and offer a low-cost self-pay option as well.

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