November is National Diabetes Month!
According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report 2020, a total of 34.2 million people have diabetes which accounts for 10.5% of the US population. In addition to that, 88 million people in the US aged 18 years or older have prediabetes, which accounts for 34.5% of the adult population. Despite these numbers diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes, can be prevented with numerous lifestyle changes including weight loss, healthy eating, and physical activity. In the spirit of National Diabetes Month, the New York Enrichment Group would like to share some information and resources that can raise awareness of diabetes.
What is Prediabetes and Diabetes?
Prediabetes is a condition where your blood sugar levels are elevated above normal levels but not high enough to be considered diabetes. There may be little to no symptoms with prediabetes. If no lifestyle changes are made, those with prediabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes.
There are two common types of diabetes. Type 1 and type 2.
Type 1 diabetes, is less common and is when your body can no longer produce insulin by itself. Insulin is essential in bringing the sugar from the food you eat from the bloodstream to the inside of your body’s cells. Without insulin, your cells will not get the energy they need and your blood sugar levels will become high. Most people with type 1 diabetes are born with this condition.
Type 2 diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the body cannot produce or utilize insulin properly. When you have a consistently high intake of sugar this causes hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), your pancreas tends to compensate by pumping out more insulin to get the sugar into your cells. Eventually, your body will no longer respond normally to the insulin which is called insulin resistance. When the body cannot make enough insulin to move the sugar from our blood, the levels of sugar in your blood will go up causing consistent high blood sugar levels and ultimately type two diabetes.
What can I do?
Luckily prediabetes can be reversed! Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or even delayed with early intervention and changes. It is important that you create a plan and act accordingly. Take the prediabetes risk test listed below in the resources to see where you stand and consult with your doctor about getting your blood sugar levels tested. Evaluate where your eating habits and activity levels are right now. Plan with a nutritionist or a lifestyle health coach to create a nutrition plan. Focus on a well-balanced diet with high-fiber foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and limit foods high in fat and salt. Exercise and weight loss can also help reduce your blood sugar and keep it in control! Even as simple as walking for 20 minutes a day can help reduce your blood sugar levels. Whatever physical activity it may be, biking, walking, dancing, make it a habit! Track your progress and set new goals for yourself. Don’t let prediabetes or diabetes control you, take control of it first! Check out the resources below to see how you can empower yourself to beat diabetes!
Resources & Tools
National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2020. (2020, August 28). Retrieved September 17, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/data/statistics-report/index.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fdiabetes%2Fdata%2Fstatistics%2Fstatistics-report.html
On Your Way to Preventing Type 2 Diabetes. (2019, October 03). Retrieved September 17, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevent-type-2/guide-prevent-type2-diabetes.html
Diabetes Overview. (n.d.). Retrieved September 17, 2020, from https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes
Diabetes Information PDF Forms for Consumers. (2020, June 29). Retrieved September 17, 2020, from https://learningaboutdiabetes.org/programs-consumer/