November is National Diabetes Month. Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. Most of the food you eat is broken down into sugar (glucose) and released 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. 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. 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. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)
Common symptoms of diabetes from the American Diabetes Association are:
- -Urinating often
- -Feeling very thirsty
- -Feeling very hungry—even though you are eating
- -Extreme fatigue
- -Blurry vision
- -Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
- -Weight loss—even though you are eating more (type 1)
- -Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)
- -Diabetes also puts people at high risk of COVID-19.
Early detection and treatment of diabetes can decrease the risk of developing the complications of diabetes. There isn’t a cure yet but weight management, a healthy diet and proper medications can help. Learn more about the types of diabetes including prediabetes and gestational diabetes, treatment, resources and risk at diabetes.org.
Children can be affected by diabetes as well. For information regarding children and diabetes, click here.