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  • American Diabetes Alert Day: Are You At Risk?
    Added by My Identity Doctor
    Most of us know someone living with diabetes—most commonly, type 2 diabetes. American Diabetes Alert Day is a day to bring attention to the risk factors associated with developing type 2 diabetes, which can in turn lead to a variety of health problems if not controlled with exercise, diet modifications and in some cases, medicines or insulin. Because the consequences of uncontrolled diabetes can be life-altering, such as kidney disease, neuropathy leading to amputations, and vision loss, it is important to be aware of your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and what can be done to manage the risk—or control diabetes you already live with.
    Type 2 diabetes: Are you at risk?
    Risk factors are some things that you can control and some that you cannot, such as your age, gender, ethnicity, and family history of developing diabetes—there is a genetic component to type 2 diabetes, so you are more likely to develop it if an immediate family member does. [1]
    Risk factors you can control include your physical activity level and weight, both of which can improve your sensitivity to insulin and prevent developing type 2 diabetes, a disease where your body produces less insulin than it needs and/or becomes resistant to the insulin it produces.
    Preventing—and managing—type 2 diabetes
    The only difference between preventing and managing type 2 diabetes, is that once you develop diabetes, you may need to take medications and to test your blood glucose regularly. Pre-diabetes is a somewhat elevated blood glucose level—a warning sign that type 2 diabetes may be imminent, but with some changes, a person is sometimes able to reverse the change that has occurred and not develop type 2 diabetes—most often, weight loss of 5 to 10% made through lifestyle changes as recommended by a healthcare professional, can put developing diabetes on pause if you have pre-diabetes [2] There is no cure for type 2 diabetes, but it can be managed.
    Healthy steps that can help prevent onset of type 2 diabetes—as well help manage blood sugars if you have type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes—include [2]:
    • Exercise – Exercise can lower blood glucose levels, promote insulin sensitivity (the opposite of insulin resistance) and help with weight loss. Integrating a walk after dinner and incorporating more physical activity into your day can help with managing blood sugar levels.
    • Nutrition – Balancing the amount of carbohydrates you eat with other nutrients, ensuring you are getting the right amount of energy (calories) and enjoying more high-fibre foods can help with management of blood sugar levels. Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that doesn’t raise blood glucose levels, and can help prevent “spikes” in blood glucose, requiring a “dump” of insulin that your body may not respond to.
    • Weight loss – Weight loss can also improve insulin sensitivity, making diabetes easier to manage—and often gives you more energy, too!
    • Medication – Depending on the success of other steps and your glucose levels (a 3 month average can be measured by a blood test called HbA1C, or A1C for short), your doctor may recommend medication or insulin. Medication or insulin does not mean you have “failed”—it is just another tool, like diet and exercise, to help get your diabetes under control!
    Finding support
    One great resource written by people living with Type 2 Diabetes is Type2Diabetes.Net. This site has plenty of resources, recipes, and a great community to hep you manage balancing diabetes with living a life you enjoy that doesn’t feel restricted! As well, wearing medical ID jewelry can help you stay safe and ensure others are aware of your diabetes, such as if you need assistance during a low blood sugar which can occur as a result of medication or insulin use. Check out our selection of medical ID jewelry here.
    Published by My Identity Doctor on March 26, 2019


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