It's American Diabetes Awareness Month, and AFC Urgent Care Marlborough wants you to understand the importance of monitoring your blood sugar levels. The holiday season is approaching, and that means indulging in sweet treats and hearty feasts. However, it's vital to be aware of the impact these celebrations can have on your health.
Millions of Americans are affected by diabetes, a chronic health condition that's steadily on the rise. Many people go undiagnosed or lack knowledge of the warning signs that might be leading them towards more severe types of diabetes.
Here are four crucial reasons why you should monitor your blood sugar levels:
1. Don't Become Next Year’s Statistics!
Diabetes is far more common than you might think, and if you have a family history of diabetes, you should be particularly vigilant. Recent data from the CDC reveals some concerning statistics:
- In 2019, 37.3 million Americans (11.3% of the population) had diabetes.
- Almost 1.9 million Americans have Type 1 diabetes, including 244,000 children and adolescents.
- Among the 37.3 million adults with diabetes, 8.5 million were undiagnosed.
- Among Americans aged 65 and older, 29.2% (15.9 million) have diabetes.
- Every year, 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes.
- In 2019, 96 million Americans aged 18 and older had prediabetes.
- Over the past two decades, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled due to factors like aging, poor eating habits, and increased weight.
People with diabetes are twice as likely to experience heart disease or stroke than those without.
2. Know Your Risks and Symptoms
If you are experiencing symptoms like increased thirst, hunger, fatigue, blurred vision, numbness in your extremities, slow-healing sores, or unexplained weight loss, you may be at risk for prediabetes or various types of diabetes. These symptoms can be quite unsettling.
On top of that, your risk increases if you:
- Have prediabetes
- Are overweight (including childhood obesity)
- Are 45 years or older
- Have a parent, sibling, or child with Type 2 diabetes
- Are physically inactive (less than three times a week)
- Have had gestational diabetes during pregnancy or delivered a baby weighing over 9 pounds
- Have high blood pressure or take medication for it
- Have high cholesterol levels
The presence of these risk factors and symptoms is a strong motivator to check your blood sugar levels more frequently.
3. Diabetes and Its Health Complications
This year's American Diabetes Awareness Month is highlighting the connection between diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Diabetes raises your risk for other serious conditions such as:
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
- Kidney disease
- Nerve damage
- Eye problems
Your lifestyle plays a crucial role in your physical health. If you smoke, you further increase the risk of developing these complications because smoking narrows blood vessels, making it harder for your heart to function properly.
4. Gestational Diabetes and Pregnancy
During the final trimester of pregnancy, some women are at risk of developing gestational diabetes due to hormonal changes. It's crucial to manage this condition under a doctor's guidance to protect your newborn from future diabetes development. If you do develop gestational diabetes, you still have a chance to prevent Type 2 diabetes down the road, sparing your child from early-onset diabetes.
AFC Urgent Care Marlborough Encourages Screening
AFC Urgent Care Marlborough strongly encourages everyone to get screened for diabetes and have regular A1C tests. Regular blood sugar level checks can reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
You can walk in or make an appointment at AFC Urgent Care Marlborough any day of the week. They will conduct a screening and, if necessary, refer you to a diabetes specialist for further evaluation. Most insurances are accepted, and a low-cost self-pay and an easy to use online payment system option is also available. Taking control of your health now is a proactive step towards a healthier future.