November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and we want to provide the tools you need to decrease your risk of diabetes or help you manage your diabetes to ensure a healthy life.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, but one out of every four don’t know they have it. Additionally, Latinos, African Americans, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes. Though there isn’t a cure for diabetes, what you do each day will make a huge difference in your life.
About 90 percent of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. With type 2 diabetes, your body either fights the effects of insulin or doesn’t provide enough insulin to your body, making it hard to maintain a normal glucose level. Unfortunately, symptoms for type 2 diabetes develop slowly, so it may be hard to determine whether or not you have it right away. In fact, you can have type 2 diabetes for years and not know. Here are a few warning signs you can look for:
- Increased thirst and frequent urination
- Increased hunger
- Sudden weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Slow-healing sores or frequent infections
- Areas of darkened skin
Don’t Let Your Diabetes Take Over
If you are diagnosed with diabetes, don’t let it discourage you from living a happy and healthy life. Learning how to take care of your diabetes starts the minute you are diagnosed. As long as you are aware and educated, you’re on your way to effectively managing your health. Here are a few reminders that may help you manage your diabetes successfully:
- Eat healthy: Consume more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Maintain a diet that consists of less sugar and salt. It’s also important to eat three meals a day at a regular mealtime.
- Exercise frequently: Try to stay physically active by working out for 10 to 30 minutes each day. Exercise will not only make you feel better, but will make it easier to control your diabetes.
- Take your medication: Take your medication as prescribed by your doctor. It may help keep blood sugar levels normal.
- Monitor your blood sugar: Track your blood sugar regularly to understand how different foods, activities and medicine affect your blood sugar levels and keep a log to track any changes.