American Diabetes Month: What You Need to Know

November 6, 2023

When November hits, fall comes to an end, the cold arrives, the next thing you know, the holiday food and sweets are just around the corner. November is also American Diabetes Month, for a reason. It’s the month to learn more about Diabetes, and dig deeper into this chronic health condition. Diabetes is one of the most prevalent diseases in the U.S.

AFC Urgent Care Springfield has a guideline to help you understand what diabetes is, how to manage diabetes, and to watch your sugar levels. 

What is Diabetes? 

As the CDC states: 

Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. Your body breaks down most of the food you eat into sugar (glucose) and releases it into your bloodstream. When your blood sugar goes up, it signals your pancreas to release insulin. Insulin acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your body’s cells for use as energy.

With diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use it as well as it should. When there isn’t enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream. Over time, that can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for Diabetes, but having a healthy lifestyle can benefit a person with diabetes. 

How Many Types of Diabetes are there?  

When it comes to diabetes, there is Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, and Gestational diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes : If you have type 1 diabetes, your pancreas doesn’t make insulin or makes very little insulin. Insulin is very important. Insulin helps blood sugar get into cells in your body. Without insulin, the blood sugar cannot get into cells and creates a cluster in the bloodstream. 

Type 2 Diabetes : If you have type 2 diabetes, cells don’t respond normally to insulin; this is called insulin resistance. Your pancreas makes more insulin to try to get cells to respond. Eventually your pancreas can’t keep up, and your blood sugar rises, setting the stage for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. 

Gestational Diabetes : Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that can develop during pregnancy in women who don’t already have diabetes.Gestational diabetes occurs when your body can’t make enough insulin during your pregnancy.

Diabetes Symptoms: Know the warning signs

If you suspect the following diabetes symptoms, please get your sugar levels checked by your trusted medical provider. AFC Urgent Care is also here for weekly blood work any day of the week. 

Diabetes symptoms : 

  • Urinate (pee) a lot, often at night
  • Are very thirsty
  • Lose weight without trying
  • Are very hungry
  • Have blurry vision
  • Have numb or tingling hands or feet
  • Feel very tired
  • Have very dry skin
  • Have sores that heal slowly
  • Have more infections than usual

How to Manage Diabetes 

Here are some tips for managing type 1 diabetes:

  • Educate yourself - Read as much as you can about your condition and learn how to manage it properly.
  • Manage your stress - Stress can affect your blood sugar levels and make managing your diabetes more difficult.
  • Keep a food diary - This will help you to understand what affects your blood sugar levels the most and make changes where needed.
  • Stay healthy - Make sure you get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking. 
  • Stay on top of your appointments - Regular doctor appointments are crucial to managing type 1 diabetes. 
  • Take care of your teeth - Good oral health is important for managing type 1 diabetes.
  • Stay connected with your diabetes community - This will help you to feel less alone and connect with other people who understand what you’re going through.

Tips for managing type 2 diabetes: 

  • Eat a healthy diet - Choose low-carbohydrate and high-protein foods that include plenty of vegetables and fiber and healthy fats (like nuts and avocado). 
  • Avoid sugary and fatty foods. 
  • Weight loss - If you’re overweight, losing weight is key to managing type 2 diabetes. Research shows that losing 5-7% of your body weight can reduce blood sugar levels by up to 25%. 
  • Exercise regularly - Aim to exercise for at least 150 minutes per week. Exercising regularly will improve your overall health and help to reduce your blood sugar levels.

Lets get your blood sugar levels checked out! AFC Urgent Care Springfield can do just that

Diabetes is a manageable condition that you can live with for a long time, if managed properly. If you don’t manage it properly, it can lead to serious health issues and even death. The key is to stay disciplined and make sure you’re doing everything you can to control it. 

Visit AFC Urgent Care in Springfield to get routine blood work any day of the week. If you want to get your blood sugar level checked routinely, stop on any day of the week. 

We’re open 7 days a week, appointments aren’t necessary, just walk on in and get your blood sugar checked out! AFC Urgent care Springfield has an easy to use payment system that will have your bill taken care of in just a few clicks.

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