Raising Awareness for Diabetes Prevention and Treatment
November is National Diabetes Month, a time to raise awareness and highlight the importance of diabetes prevention and treatment. Over 37 million Americans are affected by diabetes, as per recent American Diabetes Association statistics.
While this awareness month focuses on diabetes in general, this year's theme is focused on the prevention of Type 2 Diabetes, which is on the rise across America. Below, learn more about the importance of this awareness month, diabetes prevention, and the signs and symptoms to look out for.
Diabetes Prevention: The First Steps
Helping to raise awareness for diabetes prevention is the most important part of the whole equation. Small steps to improve your lifestyle, such as developing a healthy diet and exercise habits, can help reduce your risk of developing diabetes. Some important risk factors to consider are:
- Overweight or Obesity: Maintaining a healthy body weight is powerful for reducing your chances of diabetes. If you've already been diagnosed with prediabetes, losing weight can help lessen your chances of the condition worsening. Aim to lose weight at a healthy rate, usually between one to two pounds per week. Speaking with your ChenMed healthcare team can also provide more guidance to support your weight loss.
- Movement and Exercise: A sedentary lifestyle is a risk factor for diabetes, so plan movement into your routine. Just 30 minutes to one hour of exercise daily can help you maintain a healthy body weight, improve blood sugar regulation, and support your overall health.
- Eat Real, Whole Foods: Eating a well-balanced diet will help stabilize blood sugars. When possible, avoid packaged and processed foods that contain harmful ingredients. Eat a diet that consists of the right balance of carbs, proteins, and healthy fats.
- Avoid Sugary Drinks: Many sodas and juices are full of sugar, which can wreak havoc on your body's blood sugar. Opting for healthy drinks such as water can limit your sugar intake and play an important role in diabetes prevention.
- See Your Doctor: Regular wellness checks will help keep a close eye on your health. Many people may be unaware they have diabetes for several years, which can cause damage without treatment. Seeing your doctor for regular visits is important for blood glucose testing.
Know the Symptoms of Diabetes
You should familiarize yourself with the common signs and symptoms of diabetes. For example, increased thirst, excessive urination, drowsiness, or excessive fatigue could be signs of prediabetes or diabetes. Other common symptoms include blurred vision, abdominal pain, or dehydration.
If you're experiencing any unusual symptoms, schedule a visit with your ChenMed healthcare provider.