Diabetes Awareness Month: Know the Signs
By Digital Reporter Kyrsten Eller
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just over 1 in 10 Americans suffer from diabetes and about 1 in 3 have pre-diabetes.
There are three primary types of diabetes, said University Medical Center Dietitian Suzanne Henson.
“Type 1, of course, which we typically recognize in younger individuals due to an autoimmune response,” Henson said. “Type 2 you see the majority of, and I have teenagers who have Type 2, so it’s not just older adults. Then, there’s also Gestational diabetes, which is seen in women during pregnancy and can put women and their children at risk.”
Henson said there are two big signs to look out for.
“The things I tell people to look out for is if you have been craving water or any fluid, and if you have been going to the bathroom frequently,” said Henson. “I’ll always test their blood sugar with those two signs.”
While excessive thirst and urination are the signs that stand out the most, another sign a dark ring patch around skin folds, such as on your neck or arm.
Some ways to keep diabetes at bay include avoiding excess sugar. The primary offender? Juice, Henson said.
Instead of sugary beverages like orange juice or Gatorade, pick low-sugar versions. In many cases, there are low-sugar options for major drinks including juice, athletic drinks, tea or sodas.
Another way you can prevent diabetes is by exercising daily.
“Even just walking around your house, apartment or wherever you live,” said Henson. “That helps lower blood sugar.”
Diabetes is a lot more common than most people think, Henson said.
“Helping people realize that diabetes is much more common than people think is important,” said Dr. Henson. “Seeing a physician and getting lab work done regularly is important so you know what your blood sugar looks like.”
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with diabetes, there are classes you can take through University Medical Center or another doctor’s office so you can learn about your options and lifestyle changes.
“If you have been diagnosed, definitely seek those out and we are happy to work with you,” Henson said.