American Diabetes Month: Understanding Risks and Prevention

November 6, 2023

November marks American Diabetes Month, and it's a timely reminder to take proactive steps in managing and preventing diabetes. While diabetes awareness should be a year-round commitment, this month, right before the holiday season, is an excellent opportunity to renew your dedication to a healthier lifestyle. Over 30 million Americans live with diabetes, and an additional 96 million have prediabetes, a condition in which their blood sugar levels are elevated but not yet in the diabetic range. 

Shockingly, 80% of those with prediabetes are unaware of their condition. Whether you or someone you know is affected by diabetes, understanding the risk factors and learning how to prevent or manage this condition is crucial. AFC Urgent Care Southington has crafted a guide to keep you informed during American Diabetes Month.

Exploring the Different Diabetes Types

Two primary types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2, warrant attention:

  • Type 1 Diabetes: This autoimmune disease involves the immune system targeting the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes usually manifests during childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood. It isn't linked to lifestyle and doesn't become more common with age.
  • Type 2 Diabetes: This condition occurs when the body either doesn't produce sufficient insulin or doesn't use it effectively. In both cases, elevated blood sugar levels can result in severe health issues, including heart disease, stroke, and blindness.

Additionally, gestational diabetes, which develops during pregnancy, presents another diabetes type. While not as common as type 2 diabetes, it can lead to the development of diabetes for both you and your newborn later in life if left unmanaged.

Type 2 diabetes can often be controlled through dietary adjustments and regular exercise, while type 1 diabetes typically necessitates medication to manage symptoms. If you suspect you may have diabetes, immediate consultation with your doctor is vital to initiate prompt treatment.

The Rise of Prediabetes

Prediabetes is a condition where your blood sugar levels are above normal but not yet at the diabetes threshold. In this case, you're at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and may need to make dietary and lifestyle changes to prevent this progression.

Signs and symptoms of prediabetes include:

  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Dark urine or dry skin

You can lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by adopting lifestyle changes. These include maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise, and avoiding smoking.

Diabetes Is Preventable!

Unmanaged diabetes increases the likelihood of serious health problems like heart disease, stroke, kidney issues, and nerve damage. This highlights the importance of not missing your doctor's appointments. Scheduling regular check-ups and undergoing an A1C test will gauge your blood sugar levels, enabling you to take necessary actions to reduce them.

Controlling blood glucose levels involves lifestyle changes, such as dietary adjustments, increased physical activity, and regular blood testing. Even if you have diabetes, you can manage it through lifestyle modifications and a diabetes management plan in collaboration with your doctor.

While there are various types of diabetes, they share common underlying causes. A combination of medication, healthy eating, and consistent exercise can help manage them. Diabetic individuals may require insulin to control their blood sugar levels. Prediabetic individuals should monitor their blood sugar levels, adjusting their lifestyle and diet as needed. Diabetes can be managed, and prediabetes can be prevented. Don't hesitate; get screened for diabetes and tested today.

Concerned About Your Blood Sugar Levels? Get Checked at AFC Urgent Care Southington

If you're worried about having diabetes or prediabetes, it's essential to undergo screenings and routine blood work. AFC Urgent Care Southington offers diabetes check-ups and A1C tests to assess your blood sugar levels. Feel free to walk in or schedule an appointment online, available any day of the week!

Reminder: we offer an easy to use online payment system that will have you checked out and done with your bill in just a few clicks. 

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