Diabetes Facts From A to Z

by Cindy

Diabetes Facts From A to Z

  • A1C:  The hemoglobin a1c blood test is an important test that is used to monitor how well your diabetes is being controlled.  Your goal is to keep your a1c less than 7%.
  • Bitter Melon:  Bitter melon is a natural herb that has gained the attention of researchers for its use in lowering glucose levels since ancient times. 
  • Cinnamon:  Cinnamon has gained national attention for its use in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. One study showed that cinnamon could reduce glucose levels by 24%!
  • Doctors:  Type 2 diabetes can easily be managed by your primary care doctor but when sugars are hard to control you may be referred to a diabetes specialist, or endocrinologist.  Other doctors that you need to see include a podiatrist and ophthalmologist.
  • Eat Right: Choosing the right foods and making dietary changes can help patients with type 2 diabetes avoid having to start oral medications and insulin.  
  • Feet:  All diabetic patients must check their feet for open wounds and signs of infection every single night to prevent amputations.
  • Glucose:  Glucose, or sugar, is the substance that your body uses for energy and in diabetes this is responsible for diabetic complications when glucose levels in the blood become too high.  
  • Heart Disease:  Heart disease is the leading cause of death in diabetic patients.
  • Insulin:  Insulin is the hormone that is produced by the pancreas and it is responsible for the regulation of glucose.
  • Juvenile Diabetes:  Juvenile diabetes, now is referred to as type 1 diabetes, is caused by an autoimmune destruction of the insulin producing cells and results in a patient who is completely dependent on injected insulin.
  • Kidney Disease: Diabetes is a top cause of kidney failure requiring dialysis.
  • Low Blood Sugar:  Hypoglycemia is a serious complication from the use of medications to treat diabetes.  Many patients forget that these medications put them at risk for this condition. 
  • Metabolic Syndrome:  It is estimated that 35% of the population has metabolic syndrome which is characterized by hypertension, abnormal blood sugar, central obesity, high triglycerides and a low HDL level.
  • Neuropathy:  Nerve damage from diabetes affects more than half of diabetic patients and can cause serious problems including infections and amputations. 
  • Obesity:  Obesity is closely associated with type 2 diabetes.  According to data from the CDC, over 35% of American adults are obese and no U.S. state has an obesity rate of less than 20%.
  • Pancreas:  This important organ is located right below your breastbone and is responsible for the production of glucose lowering insulin.  When the pancreas cannot keep up with demand for insulin or it fails to produce insulin altogether, diabetes results.
  • Quit Smoking: All diabetic patients should be encouraged to quit smoking to reduce their risk of heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease to reduce the risk of death and amputations.
  • Retinopathy: Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults due to diabetic retinopathy caused by years of hyperglycemia.  Approximately 8,000 people will lose their sight due to this diabetic complication every year.
  • Shots:  Diabetic patients need more vaccinations than the average adult.  Be sure that you have asked your doctor if you have had your pneumococcal vaccine and hepatitis B series.  It is also advised that you get the flu shot every year.
  • Testing:  Your blood sugar should be checked every 3-6 months if you have diabetes.
  • Undiagnosed:  It is estimated that up to 7 million people in America are living with diabetes and don’t even know it.
  • Vitamin D:  Too little vitamin D may be linked to the development of type 2 diabetes.  Some studies have suggested that over 50% of the population does not get enough vitamin D!
  • Weight Loss:  Weight loss is an important part of the diabetes treatment program.  Studies have proven that a 5% weight loss can have a positive effect on hyperglycemia.
  • eXercise:  Perhaps that’s a bit of a stretch but eXercise is extremely important in diabetes management.  Patients who exercise lose more weight, reduce insulin resistance and use their stored glucose more effectively. 
  • Yikes:  It is estimated that 35% of the U.S. population has pre-diabetes!
  • Zoinks:  The number of cases of diabetes is exploding.  The CDC estimates that up to 33% of the population could be affected by diabetes by the year 2050.

Explore Know Your Sugar to learn more about these facts about diabetes and more!

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