There’s more to November than politics, the start of deer season, football and Thanksgiving! It’s also American Diabetes Month, which is an excellent topic for our November health blog. Why? Because many people in Brady and the surrounding areas and towns are coping with the disease and the Holiday Season brings with it an assortment of tempting sweets.
Understanding diabetes is all about understanding how glucose and insulin work in your body. Insulin is a hormone that comes from the pancreas gland (just below the stomach). The pancreas naturally secretes insulin into the bloodstream which circulates, enabling sugar to enter your cells. Insulin lowers the amount of sugar in your bloodstream. As your blood sugar (glucose) level drops, so does the secretion of insulin from your pancreas.
Glucose is vital to your health because it’s basically the source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and tissues, and it also fuels your brain. Diabetes simply means that you have too much glucose in your blood, which, if left untreated, can lead to serious health problems.
What’s your Type?
There’s type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Although type 1 can develop at any age it typically appears during childhood or adolescence. Type 2 is more common and can develop at any age, though it’s more common in people older than 40. In type 1, the body basically does not produce insulin. In type 2, your body does not use insulin properly.
Obviously, it’s more complicated, but simply put, what happens when you have diabetes is that your pancreas cannot produce insulin properly and sugar builds up in your bloodstream.
How do you know if you’re at risk? Or if you already have diabetes? The symptoms are varied, but if you feel simply “out of sorts” as the old-timers say, and “things just aren’t working right,” diabetes may be the cause. A routine visit to your primary care physician can determine, by simple tests, if it is indeed diabetes. Then, working as a team, your doctor and our City Drug pharmacists can put you on the right track to get your blood sugar levels stabilized.
Detecting diabetes early and preventing it in the first place might be easier than you think. Sure, some of it might be genetic, but a healthy diet, moderate exercise and lowering of weight are the best ways to prevent or deal with diabetes. With all the holiday goodies approaching, a little self-control can go a long way.
Try to fill your grocery cart with “superfoods“ like:
- Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
- Citrus Fruit
- Sweet Potatoes
- Fresh Fish
- Whole Grains
- Milk & Yogurt
These and other foods that are especially high in calcium, potassium, fiber, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and E can help your body manage or even prevent diabetes. For more on healthy eating, check out our previous March blog.
You’d be amazed at how much myth surrounds diabetes and the American Diabetes Association addresses many of them with facts: http://www.diabetes.org/
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, there are a number of extremely easy to use products to test and monitor your blood glucose levels. Come in and we’ll talk about all of your options.
We have a wide variety of easy-to-use blood sugar monitoring products that do most of the thinking for you… and of course we can look over your prescriptions to make sure there are no conflicts with any of your other medications.
From all of us here at City Drug, we wish you good hunting, great football and warm wishes to your entire family for Thanksgiving.