Diabetes is a serious health condition that impacts the lives of many people in the United States. Being diagnosed with diabetes often leads to other health complications which may lead to other health risks. In light of November being National Diabetes Month, AFC Urgent Care Springfield wants to help educate those who are at risk of developing diabetes so that they can manage their blood sugar levels now so that they can prevent developing diabetes.
Don’t become another statistic! Here’s what you should know about Diabetes Awareness Month, and why we devote an entire month to it:
Diabetes has more than one type
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: Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes. Type 2 is the most common, usually affecting adults later in age, but which can be easily influenced by lifestyle choices such as poor diet, smoking and lack of exercise. People who have a family history are also at risk of developing diabetes.
Many people don’t know they have diabetes or are borderline diabetic. It can be sneaky!
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 healthy people.
If it’s been a while since your last blood work you may be 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
Being diabetic means you have to watch out for other health complications and conditions
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.
Avoid Diabetes by getting your blood glucose levels checked at AFC Urgent Care Springfield
Are you at risk for diabetes? Get your blood sugar levels checked at AFC in Springfield.
AFC Urgent Care Springfield at 415 Cooley St. #3, Springfield, is ready to answer any questions or concerns regarding blood sugar levels and diabetes. We are open 7 days a week, 8am-8pm Monday-Friday and also 8am-5pm on the weekends. We also accept most insurances.