According to the American Diabetes Association, “in 2012, 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3% of the population, had diabetes,” further shocking ‘”in 2010 the figures were 25.8 million and 8.3%.” In the month of November every year, top organizations dedicate their time to education and awareness about Diabetes.
This year, the National Diabetes Education Program is adapting an ‘ABC Model’ of teaching people how to manage diabetes. They are calling the program “Be Smart About Your Heart: Control the ABCs of Diabetes.”
- The A in the model stands for A1C test, which is “a blood test that measures your average blood sugar level over the past three months.”
- The B in the model stands for blood pressure or, “the force of your blood against the wall of your blood vessels.”
- The C in the model explains cholesterol, “there are two kind of cholesterol in your blood: LDL and HDL. LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol can build up and clog your blood vessels. It can cause a heart attack or stroke.”
Another staggering fact about diabetes remains that “in 2012, 86 million Americans age 20 and older had prediabetes; this is up from 79 million in 2010.”
Are You At Risk?
Part of knowing whether you are at risk or not is paying attention to a few KEY things: prevention, diagnosing/learning about diabetes and LOWERING your risk if it is high. According to the American Diabetes Association, it is possible to ‘prevent or delay’ type 2 diabetes. The key to doing so is staying at a healthy weight, eating well and remaining active.
Diagnosis and Testing
Take part in Alert Day in 2015! To be held on March 24, Alert Day encourages the public to take the Diabetes Risk Test, revealing whether or not they are at risk for type 2.
Another way you can tell whether you are at risk or normal, prediabetes or if you have diabetes, is to take a variety of tests that must be taken twice (the second time on a second day).
Due to the severity of these tests, they are to be taken in a health care setting and, “if your doctor determines that your blood glucose level is very high, or if you have classic symptoms of high blood glucose in addition to one positive test, your doctor may not require a second test to diagnose diabetes,” according to the American Diabetes Association.
The tests include the A1C (measures blood glucose in an average in the past two to three months), the Fasting Plasma Glucose test (measures fasting blood glucose levels), the Oral Glucose Tolerance test (checks blood glucose levels before and after a sweet drink) and a Random/Casual Plasma Glucose test (can be taken any time of day when severe symptoms are present). For help with results on these tests and what they all mean, this explanation may help.
Lowering Your Risk
There is a plethora of ways that you can lower your risk for diabetes and they start at home. Healthy eating being one of them does not just mean what you consume. Healthy eating accounts for the choices you make at the grocery store, how you prepare your foods and how you consistently maintain this lifestyle.
If you are overweight, suffering from diabetes is very possible, however so are other conditions like: heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol and high blood glucose. “Losing weight can help you prevent and manage these problems,” says the American Diabetes Association “Even losing 10-15 pounds can make a big difference.”
If you are smoking, stop! If you haven’t begun, don’t. Not only are you at a higher risk for a heart attack or stroke, but you could find yourself just around the corner to diabetes. Trying tactics like challenging yourself, preparing, and planning can all help you reach your goal of ultimately quitting if you currently do smoke.
Exercise is key to a healthy life. The American Diabetes Association makes it clear that physical activity in the form of aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility exercises can all help.
Diabetes in Women
Often times during the 24th week of pregnancy many women develop gestational diabetes. Should this happen, keep in mind “a diagnoses of gestational diabetes doesn’t mean that you had diabetes before you conceived, or that you will have diabetes after giving birth,” according to the American Diabetes Association.
Essentially, “pregnant women who have never had diabetes before but who have high blood glucose levels during pregnancy are said to have gestational diabetes (American Diabetes Association).”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of people known to have gestational diabetes is 9.2%. While the baby gets nutrients from the placenta and it’s hormones as it grows, those hormones block insulin in the mother’s body, making it not function as it should (insulin resistance). This is said to be a clue towards what causes gestational diabetes. Feel free to speak with the practitioners at Healthy Woman OBGYN about prenatal care.
This November, let’s share the knowledge of diabetes with the ones we know and love. After all, knowledge is power. To learn more about Healthy Woman OBGYN, contact us today! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates.