November is National Diabetes Month! This campaign aims to make people more aware of the symptoms and make people more aware of the risk factors associated with this disease.
What is diabetes?
If someone has diabetes, their body doesn’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t correctly use the insulin their body creates naturally. When this occurs, their body cannot get sugar from their blood into the cells, which can result in them having high blood sugar levels.
How many different types of diabetes are there?
There are three different types of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes: This type of diabetes is considered an autoimmune condition. This means that the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that produce insulin. Unfortunately, the damage done to the human body by Type 1 diabetes is permanent.
- Type 2 diabetes: Type 2 diabetics are unable to use insulin efficiently. This stimulates their pancreas to produce more insulin until it can no longer keep making it.
- Gestational diabetes: Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy and involves insulin-blocking hormones.
What are some statistics regarding diabetes?
- Currently, one in ten Americans has diabetes.
- Another 84 million are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- The national cost of diabetes in the US is $245 billion.
- While for many, this is an unavoidable condition, if more people acted upon medical advice and were aware of the risk factors, this cost could be reduced.
What are the risk factors for diabetes?
- Having an inactive lifestyle
- Being overweight
- Having had gestational diabetes or prediabetes
How can I decrease my chances of getting diabetes?
- Eat a proper diet
- Monitor your sugar
- Exercise regularly
- Don’t smoke
- Investigate the medical history of your family to see if you’re at a higher risk of developing diabetes
- Educate yourself about this disease
How can diabetes be treated?
Diabetes can be treated with changes in diet, pills or, in some cases, through injections of insulin.
What are the warning signs of diabetes?
- Increased thirst
- Increased appetite
- Dry mouth
- Frequent urination
- Sudden weight loss
- Constant fatigue
- Blurred vision
- Frequent headaches
What are the complications of diabetes?
Anyone with poorly controlled blood-sugar levels increases the risk of them suffering serious complications that can become life-threatening. Some of these complications are:
- Vessel disease, leading to a heart attack or stroke
- Eye problems
- Infection or skin conditions
- Nerve damage
- Kidney damage
- Neuropathy or vessel disease that could result in amputation
If you’re interested in a career in the health field and helping people manage their diabetes, you should consider becoming a nurse. Currently, Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio, offers both a Registered Nursing program and a practical nursing to registered nursing transition program.
For more information on Hocking College’s nursing programs, contact Program Manager Sarah Frazier at one of the following: