One in ten Americans are living with diabetes and one in three have prediabetes. In recognition of National Diabetes Awareness Month, we’re providing education, tips and resources to help you understand, prevent and/or manage diabetes in simple ways.
National Diabetes Awareness Month
34 million Americans have diabetes. 88 million have prediabetes. Are you at risk?
What are the different types of Diabetes?
Prediabetes means you have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. That means you may be at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and not know it. Taking simple steps now to lower your blood sugar levels can prevent prediabetes from becoming full-blown Type 2 diabetes. Talk to your Healthcare Provider doctor if you have any of these risk factors:
- Weight. The more fatty tissue you have, the more resistant your cells become to insulin.
- Inactivity. The less active you are, the greater your risk.
- Family history of diabetes. If one or more members of your family have been diagnosed with diabetes, you may be at risk.
- Race or ethnicity. Latinx and African American populations have the highest prevalence of diabetes after Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders.
- Age. Diabetes can happen at any age but tends to be most prevalent in adulthood. Screening is recommended for anyone 45 years or older.
- Gestational diabetes. A type of diabetes that happens to some women during pregnancy.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). A fertility-related condition that makes some women more vulnerable to develop Type 2 diabetes.
- High blood pressure.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce insulin, a hormone that allows the body to convert sugar into fuel for your body’s cells. Without insulin, the body cannot survive. Persons with Type 1 diabetes must inject insulin each day, to achieve healthy blood sugar levels. Lifestyle behaviors cannot prevent Type 1 diabetes from developing, but healthy lifestyle behaviors can prevent diabetes complications from developing. This includes good blood sugar control, insulin therapy, exercise, healthy meal plans, weight management, blood pressure control and routine visits with a Healthcare Providers.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes—and it means that your body doesn’t use insulin properly. It tends to happen to people who have one or more risk factors – such as family history, an unhealthy diet, being overweight, not exercising enough or having high blood pressure. While some people can control their blood sugar levels with healthy eating and exercise, others may need medication or insulin to help manage it.
Sometimes pregnant women can get diabetes even if they haven’t previously been diagnosed with it. That’s because pregnancy can produce hormones that makes it hard for a woman’s body to process insulin. This can harm you – and your baby. The good news is that gestational diabetes can be managed so that you can have a healthy birth. It’s important to see your doctor as soon as you get pregnant.
Here are six things you can do today to get on the path to a healthier lifestyle
- Watch the below video to learn how to conduct a simple diabetes foot test.
- Take the American Diabetes Association 6-second test to see if you are at risk here.
- Sign up for MLKCH's health and wellness newsletter, Know Your Basics here.
- Make an appointment to get screened with MLK Community Healthcare by calling: 424-329-8942.
- Learn how to fill your plate the right way here and enroll in MLKCH's healthy eating and lifestyle classes. Learn more here.
- Get moving and exercise. Learn more here.