November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. It is important to remain educated, find resources, and make sure all those around us are aware of their risk too. Diabetes is a complex health condition that affects millions of people in America. Without proper management it can lead to serious complications.
What is Diabetes?
Nearly half of all-American adults have diabetes or prediabetes, yet don’t understand the serious life-long burden of this illness or the 24/7 work it takes to effectively manage. According to the CDC, 34.2 million Americans have diabetes. Another 88 million American adults have prediabetes.
Diabetes is a long-lasting health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy.
Diabetes occurs when the body is unable to regulate the amount of glucose in the blood. Carbs are broken down to produce glucose, causing the blood glucose level to rise. The liver also stores glucose, which is used to avoid low blood glucose level when we’re not eating.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, which regulates the blood sugar level between certain limits. It can remove glucose from the blood and transport it into the cells of the body where it is needed for energy. Insulin also regulates the production of glucose by the liver and switches off production when the blood sugar level is high.
Normally, the body produces enough insulin the keep the blood glucose level at ideal levels by removing excess glucose from the blood and regulating how much the liver processes. People with diabetes are not able to remove the excess glucose from the blood-allowing the blood glucose level to rise.
With diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t use it like it should.
There are 2 types of Diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes is a disorder that affects young children predominately and continues the rest of their lives. In Type 1 diabetes the body does not produce insulin. The body breaks down the carbs you eat into blood sugar that it uses for energy. Insulin is the hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body.
The key to managing Type 1 diabetes lies in working with your healthcare providers to discover what works best for you. Reach out to a doctor at Townsen Memorial to have a conversation about your concerns. We will work to find the resources that work best for you and help you find a balance in your life. We want you to feel comfortable in your lifestyle.
Type 2 Diabetes:
This is the most common type of diabetes. The body does not make or use insulin well. Without enough production of insulin, the glucose stays in the blood.
Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause serious long-term problems such as:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Vision problems
- Nerve damage
- Kidney damage
Type 2 can be prevented or delayed by practicing a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating healthy food, being active, or losing weight if you are considered overweight.
Avoid sugar and high-carbohydrate, processed foods. This includes sugary drinks, white bread, and candy. Practicing aerobic exercise with strength training can also help you maintain a healthy weight. A physician at Townsen Memorial can help you understand the steps you should be taking to live a healthy lifestyle if you are Prediabetic or struggle with Type 2 Diabetes.
Townsen Memorial is here for you.
Our innovative facilities and experienced staff mean you’ll be comfortable during treatment and that you can trust us with your medical care. We are located in Humble, TX off of FM 1960 and Highway 59. We can help you get back on your feet and doing the things you love in no time. Visit townsenmemorialhospital.com/contact or call 1-877-494-9487 if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment.