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    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | November 6th, 2016


    Do you have diabetes or prediabetes? November is American Diabetes Month and the theme for 2016 is “This is Diabetes”.  You are supposed to go to the American Diabetes Association website and share your story about living with diabetes, however if you do not know whether you have it or not, then it would be hard for you to share your story.

    One in three people have diabetes and do not know they have it and 9 out of 10 people with prediabetes do not know they have it. It is so important to get tested. This is a blood test. It can either be a hemoglobin A1C, fasting blood glucose, oral glucose tolerance test or a random glucose test.

    There are some people that have symptoms of diabetes that may lead one to get tested. The symptoms of diabetes include:

    • Urinating often
    • Feeling very thirsty,
    • Feeling very hungry – even though you are eating
    • Extreme fatigue
    • Blurry vision
    • Cut/bruises that are slow to heal
    • Weight loss – even though you are eating more
    • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet

    Diabetes is a chronic disease where the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin that it produces. Insulin is a hormone that is produced in the pancreas that helps regulate the sugar in our body. When there is too much sugar in our body, it can cause serious problems to our body. Uncontrolled diabetes is associated with blindness, kidney failure, strokes, heart disease and amputation.

    The good news is that we can live with diabetes if it is well controlled and we can prevent diabetes, if we have not yet been diagnosed. What do we need to do?

    • Be mindful of what we are eating – more fruits and vegetables is key. Avoid the sugary drinks and the processed food.
    • Exercise – Yes, I would love 30 minutes a day most days of the week but something is better than nothing. If you only have 10 minutes in a day, then do 10 minutes. Consistency is more important. I would rather have you exercise 10 minutes every day than 30 minutes once or twice a month. Remember the four components of exercise – aerobic, strength/resistance, flexibility and balance.
    • Maintain a healthy weight – If you are overweight or obese, we know that losing at least 7 percent of your body weight can make a difference. Ask your doctor for help.
    • Get enough sleep – sleep is so important to help with stress and for weight management.
    • Maintain proper oral hygiene – get to the dentist twice a year – inflammation in the mouth has been associated with diabetes. Check out the blog titled – Add Tongue Scraping to Your Oral Hygiene.
    • Find ways to reduce stress in your life – check out the blog – Have You Tried Meditating
    • Quit smoking

    1 in 11 Americans have diabetes today

    Every 23 seconds someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with diabetes

    86 million Americans are at risk for diabetes

    Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death and causes more deaths than AIDS and breast cancer combined

    We can all make a difference when it comes to diabetes, first by taking care of ourselves and getting tested if we do not know our recent sugar status and then making sure our loved ones have been screened for diabetes.

    Along with November being American Diabetic Month, November is also election month. Please remember to get out and vote on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. We can all make a difference. Every vote counts.

    Take the Type 2 diabetes risk test






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