American Diabetes Awareness Month: Joining The Fight Against Diabetes

November 7, 2023

Holiday sweets and delicious food is just around the corner. The holiday spirit can get the best of us when it comes to food, but we have to remember to keep our blood suger levels at a nice and healthy level. 

Diabetes is a common health condition that affects millions of people around the world. It's essential to understand what diabetes is and how it can be managed. AFC Urgent Care Saugus has created this helpful guide to help you understand and dig a little deeper into diabetes. 

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects the way your body processes sugar, also known as glucose. When we eat, our bodies break down the food into glucose, which is then used as a source of energy for our cells. To help glucose enter our cells, our bodies need a hormone called insulin.

Diabetes and Insulin

Insulin acts like a key that unlocks the doors of our cells, allowing glucose to enter and provide energy. However, in diabetes, there's a problem with insulin. It's either not produced in sufficient amounts, or the body can't use it effectively. This leads to an excess of glucose in the bloodstream.

Types of Diabetes

There are three primary types of diabetes:

  1. Type 1 Diabetes: This type usually develops in childhood or adolescence. In Type 1 diabetes, the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. People with Type 1 diabetes need daily insulin injections to survive.
  2. Type 2 Diabetes: This is the most common type of diabetes and often occurs in adults. In Type 2 diabetes, the body's cells become resistant to the effects of insulin, leading to higher blood sugar levels. It can often be managed with lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, and in some cases, medication.
  3. Gestational Diabetes: This type occurs during pregnancy when the body can't produce enough insulin to meet the increased needs. It usually goes away after giving birth, but it can increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes later in life.

Common Symptoms

Diabetes can have various symptoms, including:

  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Increased hunger
  • Blurred vision
  • Tingling or numbness in hands and feet
  • Fatigue
  • Slow-healing wounds
  • More susceptibility to infections

If you notice any of these symptoms, it's essential to consult a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis.

Managing Diabetes

The good news is that diabetes can be managed effectively. Here are some essential tips:

  • Healthy Diet: Eating a balanced diet is crucial. Focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Limit your intake of sugary and fatty foods.
  • Regular Exercise: Staying active is beneficial for your overall health and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.
  • Medication: Some people with diabetes may need medication or insulin therapy to control their blood sugar levels. It's essential to follow your healthcare provider's recommendations.
  • Blood Sugar Monitoring: Regularly check your blood sugar levels as advised by your healthcare provider. This helps you understand how different foods and activities affect your blood sugar.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Managing stress, getting enough sleep, and staying hydrated are all important factors in managing diabetes effectively.

Preventing Complications

Proper diabetes management is crucial to prevent complications. High blood sugar levels over time can lead to serious health issues, such as heart disease, kidney problems, vision loss, and nerve damage. By following your treatment plan and making healthy choices, you can reduce the risk of complications.

AFC Urgent Care Saugus has your routine blood sugar checkups 

Diabetes is a manageable condition that requires understanding and commitment. By making simple but effective changes in your lifestyle, you can live a healthy and fulfilling life with diabetes. 

AFC Urgent Care Saugus is a partner you can trust. We’re open 7 days a week and there's no appointment needed. You can just walk in and get your blood work done. If you decide to make an appointment online, it only takes a few clicks. Be sure to click on our easy to use  online payment system as well. Not only can you schedule an appointment online, but you can pay your bill as well. 

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