Diabetes Awareness Month
Diabetes is a problem with your body that causes blood glucose (sugar) levels to rise higher than normal. This is also called hyperglycemia. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. At first, your pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. But, over time it isn't able to keep up and can't make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose at normal levels. Early detection and treatment of diabetes can decrease the risk of developing the complications from harmful effects of diabetes such as damage to the eyes, heart, blood vessels, nervous system, teeth and gums, feet and skin, or kidneys. Studies show that keeping blood glucose, blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels close to normal can help prevent or delay these problems of diabetes. It is important to know the common symptoms of diabetes listed below.
- Urinating often
- Feeling very thirsty and/or 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)
You can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by eating healthy, being active, and losing just 7% of your body weight (14 pounds for a 200 pound individual). These are the same lifestyle changes that everyone should do, not just those with prediabetes or diabetes.
Consider celebrating Diabetes Awareness month during a November church service. Click here to access a premade diabetes church bulletin inset that includes basic diabetes information as well as a paper based prediabetes screening form. By having your church members complete this prediabetes screening form during or after service, you are raising awareness of just how prevalent and preventable diabetes can be. You are also connecting them to physical activity and nutrition resources that can help them reduce their risk of getting type 2 diabetes. For more healthy living resources, including those specific to the faith community, visit Cabarrus Health Alliance Exercise is Medicine: www.cabarrushealth.org/EIM/resources.
(Thanks to Jenn West of Cabarrus Health Alliance for this informative, important article.)