November is American Diabetes Month. Diabetes is a serious disease that affects millions of Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 1 in 10 Americans have diabetes. And, 1 in 4 of those people don’t even know they have it. Diabetes can cause serious health complications, including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of the risks and take steps to prevent or treat diabetes.
Bay Area Family Physicians is committed to helping our patients live healthy lives and preventing or treating diabetes is a big part of that. Here are some things you should know about diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
There are two main types of diabetes – Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. It occurs when the body doesn’t produce insulin, which is necessary to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy needed for daily life. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. It occurs when the body doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t use insulin properly. Type 2 diabetes can often be prevented by making healthy lifestyle choices like eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise.
Anyone can develop type 2 diabetes, but some people are at higher risk than others. People over the age of 45, African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, and people with a family history of diabetes are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Being overweight or obese also increases your risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
You can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by making healthy lifestyle choices like eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting regular exercise. If you’re at increased risk for type 2 diabetes (for example, if you have prediabetes), your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes and/or medication to help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
If you have type 2 diabetes, treatment will focus on managing your blood sugar levels through diet, exercise, medication (if needed), and regular check-ups with your doctor. Good blood sugar control can help prevent or delay complications from diabetes like heart disease, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation.
Diabetes is a serious disease that affects millions of Americans every year. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With proper prevention and treatment strategies in place, we can help our patients avoid or manage this chronic condition. If you have any questions about preventing or treating diabetes, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at Bay Area Family Physicians. We’re here to help you live your best life!