November brings falling leaves, cooler temperatures, and perhaps the most well-known occasion: Thanksgiving! A holiday feast with all the fixings is, of course, traditional; but it’s also important during the celebration to keep your eye on ways to stay healthy and well. Even as we focus on food and gratitude, this month is also National Diabetes Month – a time dedicated to spreading awareness of the importance of preventing diabetes and its complications.
Capital Health Plan is dedicated to helping our neighbors stay healthy, and it’s never more important than during the end-of-year holiday season. In door-to-door surveys conducted as part of the Leon County Community Health Assessment, 2022, almost 1 in 5 residents (18%) of focus neighborhoods reported having diabetes.
Diabetes is a common disease, but it can be prevented or properly managed if you take appropriate steps and remain mindful of the different types of diabetes and ways to treat them.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin. Typically, treatment involves taking insulin, eating healthy food, exercising regularly, and maintaining blood sugar levels within limits. If you have type 1 diabetes, it’s important to have regular contact with your doctor.
Type 2 diabetes usually occurs from a condition called insulin resistance. It is a chronic condition that can result in excess sugar in being in the blood instead of entering the body's cells to be used for energy. Diagnosing this type of diabetes involves blood tests, questions about your medical history, and a physical exam. Treatment focuses on keeping blood sugar levels in a healthy range with a healthy diet such as DASH or Mediterranean-style, exercising according to your doctor’s advice, maintaining your weight within a normal limit, and taking any prescribed medication. Regular contact with your primary care doctor is important.
Many people experience prediabetes prior to type 2 diabetes setting in, a time when blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to become diabetes. While people with prediabetes typically do not have symptoms, your doctor may run tests and ask about your medical history to see if you’re at risk. By making lifestyle changes, managing your weight, eating healthy, staying active, and taking any prescribed medication, you can work toward preventing or delaying the onset of Type 2 diabetes.
If you have diabetes, talk with your doctor about lab tests that can help with monitoring your health. Knowing your numbers and working toward your best health can make a difference in the long term with prevention of complications such as kidney failure, vision problems, or leg/foot numbness.
If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, regular eye exams can detect early signs of eye damage known as diabetic retinopathy.
The approach of the holiday season is a good time to reflect on and appreciate different aspects of life, including health and wellness. So this November, take some time to implement healthier lifestyle changes to feel your best. Exercise, eat healthy foods, and consult your doctor with any concerns about diabetes and other diseases. For more information regarding diabetes and healthy practices, visit https://capitalhealth.com/.
Sourced By: Healthwise
Reviewed By: Capital Health Plan Physicians Group
Posted: November 1, 2023