November 14 is World Diabetes Day.
Diabetes is a condition in which the body does not properly process food for energy use. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, produces a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When someone has Diabetes the body either does not make enough insulin or can’t make use of its own insulin as well as it should; which causes sugar to build up in the blood.
More than 29 million Americans have diabetes and you are at a greater risk if you are African-American, Asian-American, Native- American, Hispanic and overweight. Other factors include having a family history of diabetes or gestational diabetes, and at least 45 years of age.
Common symptoms of diabetes are excessive thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, and fatigue, recurrent infections such as yeast and urinary tract infections or wounds that may be slow in healing. People who have diabetes are at higher risk of serious health complications: blindness, none traumatic lower limb amputation, kidney failure, stroke and heart disease.
Type 2 diabetes and its complications can be delayed or prevented by regular checkups with your Primary Care Provider, making healthier food choices, portion control, exercising at least 30 min 5-6 times weekly, maintaining a healthy weight or losing 5- 7% weight and managing stress.
Written by LaVella Head