Diabetes is a serious health condition that impacts millions of lives in the United States. Being diagnosed with diabetes often leads to other health complications that can pose many different health risks. In light of National Diabetes Month, AFC Urgent Care New Britain wants to help educate those who are at risk of developing diabetes so that they can manage their blood sugar levels and prevent full blown diabetes. Are you at risk of developing diabetes? Here’s what you should know:
What you need to know about diabetes
Here are the basics about diabetes: Diabetes is a serious chronic disease that affects how your body turns food into energy. Our pancreas produces a hormone called insulin that uses sugar for energy. If you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use the insulin it makes as well as it should. Once diagnosed, people living with diabetes, whether it be Type 1 or Type 2, have to continue daily treatment and management in order to live a healthy life.
There are 3 main types of diabetes, which includes Type 1, 2 and gestational diabetes. Type 2 is the most common diabetes that affects adults later in age, but can be easily influenced by lifestyle choices like poor diet, smoking and lack of exercise. People who have a family history can also increase the risk of developing diabetes.
Diabetes is on the rise and many people don’t know they have it
Every year the CDC updates their database with information on diabetes, risk factors and management. If you don’t check your blood sugar levels regularly consider these statistics:
- More than 30 million people in the United States have diabetes, and 1 in 4 of them don’t know they have it.
- More than 84 million US adults have prediabetes, and 90% of them don’t know they have it.
- Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States
- Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes; type 1 diabetes accounts for about 5%.
- In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled as the American population has aged and become more overweight or obese.
- People with diabetes are twice as likely to have heart disease or a stroke than people without
If it’s been a while since your last blood work you’re probably wondering if you have prediabetes or diabetes. But, what are the symptoms and risks for diabetes?
The symptoms and risk for diabetes may include one or more of the following:
- Have prediabetes
- Are overweight
- Are 45 years or older
- Family history of diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol
- Little to no physical activity per week
- Have ever had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or given birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
- Have high blood pressure or take medicine for high blood pressure
- Increased thirst and urination
- Increased hunger
- Blurred vision
- Numbness or tingling in the feet or hands
- Sores that do not heal
- Unexplained weight loss
Diabetes can lead to other health complications
Lifestyle choices and behaviors can easily be managed so that you don’t develop other health complications. According to NDDIK having diabetes puts you more at risk of developing heart disease. Heart disease is ranked as one of the top leading causes of death in the United States. Having diabetes also puts you at risk for heart attacks, stroke, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and more. If smoking is a part of your lifestyle this can increase the risk even higher as your arteries will thin out and make your heart weaker.
The National Diabetes Awareness Month is focused this year on the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease. If you check your blood sugar levels, blood pressure, cholesterol/triglycerides regularly you have a better chance at managing diabetes or preventing it.
Get your blood sugar levels checked at AFC Urgent Care New Britain
AFC Urgent Care New Britain is your number one local urgent care that can help check your blood sugar levels. As your service provider, we can help point you in the right direction to better manage your diabetes or prevent you and your loved ones from developing it. With no appointment needed, stop by our walk-in clinic, located at 135 East Main Street, New Britain CT 06051. We’re open 7 days a week and ready to treat you. We accept most insurances.