November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Even with staying active, proper nutrition and regular check-ups, it’s important you know you could still be at risk. Diabetes is not a disease that only affects those who are overweight or obese, though weight is a risk factor. Actually, there are two types of diabetes: Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way the body processes blood sugar (glucose). With Type 2 Diabetes, the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or it resists insulin. Type 1 Diabetes, also known as Juvenile Diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. It typically appears in adolescence. Symptoms in both cases include increased thirst, frequent urination, hunger, fatigue and blurred vision. Treatments may include diet, exercise, medication and insulin therapy.
A blood sugar check is fast, non-invasive and helpful when trying to assess concerns as blood sugar levels are an indication of many health issues. Whether physician ordered or done at one of our VNA Blood Sugar Clinics, it’s important you understand what those numbers mean. The following should be used as guidelines for those who are doing a fasting blood sugar test (meaning your blood is tested before you eat or drink anything in the morning).
- Normal range: 80-100 Mg/dl (milligrams/deciliter)
- Impaired glucose range (prediabetic): 101 – 125 Mg/dl (milligrams/deciliter)
- Diabetic range: 126+ Mg/dl (milligrams/deciliter)
Keeping blood sugar levels within a healthy range is vital for anyone with diabetes. It means maintaining a healthy diet. With your doctor’s recommended food guideline, a good rule of thumb for meal preparation is using a small plate and filling it using the 50-25-25 rule. 50% non-starchy vegetables such as greens, broccoli, asparagus; 25% healthy high-fiber vegetables, whole grains or beans; and 25% proteins such as fish, chicken and plant-based alternatives. Diabetes is a contributing factor for developing heart disease, high cholesterol and can lead to stroke. Eat well, stay active and see your doctor as scheduled.
If you’re diagnosed with diabetes or if you just found out you are at risk, ask your physician if a VNA home health nurse can help educate you on proper disease management.