Who knows someone who has diabetes? Who knows someone in their own family who has diabetes?
Take a minute and think about the impact that diabetes has had on your life or on the life of someone you love
What exactly is Diabetes? Simply put, diabetes is when there is too much sugar in your blood. Everyone needs some sugar in their blood because that’s the fuel that runs your body and brain.
Whenever you eat foods containing sugars and starches, your body automatically produces a hormone called insulin in a gland called the pancreas.
Insulin takes sugar out of the blood stream and moves it into the cells where it is used for energy. Insulin is the key that unlocks the cell, allowing sugar to go in.
If your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to move the sugar into the cells, then you will develop high blood sugar and this is called diabetes. When there’s too much sugar in your blood, there’s big trouble ahead!
Normal Blood Sugar A small amount of sugar in the blood is normal and is carried in the blood stream on its way to the muscles and organs.
High Blood Sugar If there is too much sugar, it sticks to the hemoglobin in the blood, creating jagged red blood cells which damage the blood vessels as they flow through the body.
Hemoglobin A1c Test The way you can tell if there is too much sugar sticking to your hemoglobin is through a test called the Hemoglobin A1c Test.
Your Hemoglobin A1c What have you heard about the Hemoglobin A1C test? Have you ever had this test done?
Hemoglobin A1c Test This test measures the amount of sugar in your blood over a three month period of time
You may have normal blood sugar when you are fasting but it may go too high after you eat or even while you are asleep.
The only way to find out what your blood sugar level is all the time is through the Hemoglobin A1c test. If you are overweight or have a family history of diabetes, you might want to ask your doctor for your Hemoglobin A1c level.
If your Hemoglobin A1c is too high you will develop the complications of diabetes!
Diabetic Complications What kind of health problems have you heard about which are associated with having diabetes?
Complications of Diabetes The damage caused by diabetes mainly occurs in the eyes, kidneys, heart and nerve endings. This is where there are lots of blood vessels. This can lead to blindness, amputations, kidney failure and eventually to dialysis
Complications of Diabetes High blood sugar also causes pain in the hands and feet called neuropathy. It becomes painful to stand and walk. Wherever there are lots of blood vessels, there will be lots of damage.
Remember! Preventing high blood sugar, even if you already have diabetes will prevent the complications.
Symptoms of Diabetes Most people who have diabetes don’t have any symptoms at all
Common Symptoms As the diabetes progresses one might have: Excessive Thirst and Increased Urination Extreme Fatigue Weight Loss Blurred Vision Slow-healing Wounds or Frequent Infections Tingling in the Hands and Feet Red, Swollen, Tender Gums
Types of Diabetes There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2 Type 2 is much more common
Type 1 Diabetes This type of diabetes is brought on by a virus, trauma or severe bodily injury and causes the complete destruction of the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. Insulin must be injected everyday because a person can’t survive without it.
Type 2 Diabetes This is the most common type of diabetes. It is caused by being overweight and inactive. 95% of the people who have diabetes have Type 2. Most people don’t even know they have it because they have no symptoms.
Type 2 Diabetes At first, most people can control their blood sugar with pills.
BUT>>>>>If a person with Type 2 diabetes doesn’t lose weight and follow a healthy lifestyle, soon the pills don’t work and the pancreas is unable to produce any more insulin. Then the person has to begin daily insulin injections.
The Biggest Cause is Obesity There just isn’t enough insulin to go around!
Especially Abdominal Obesity Too much fat around the middle makes the insulin less effective which makes the pancreas work too hard and eventually wears out. This will lead to diabetes!
A Diet High in Fat and Calories Large portions, full of fat and calories will always result in weight gain!
A Diet High in Sugar Sugar sweetened beverages add lots of calories and require lots of insulin to handle the sugar load.
Inactivity and a Sedentary Life Style When muscles move, the insulin stays active moving sugar into the cells. When muscles don’t move, the insulin and sugar build up in the blood causing damage to the blood vessels.
Monitor Yourself Step on the scale periodically and see how you’re doing. Even losing a few pounds will greatly reduce your chance of getting diabetes
Remember!!! Even losing a small amount of weight will lower your blood sugar and this will help prevent complications, even if you already have diabetes.
Let’s Review: Healthy Habits for Life Messages Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables Make half your grains whole Choose low fat milk and dairy Decrease juice and sweetened beverages Decrease fat Be active everyday
After reviewing the Healthy Habits for Life Messages, which one or two would you like to focus on for the next few months?
You already know what it takes to prevent diabetes! By following the Healthy Habits for Life Messages, you can prevent diabetes in yourself, your family and the people you love