Weekly Clinical Service Dose: American Diabetes Month
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. It can cause blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, and other health problems if it’s not controlled.
One in 10 Americans have diabetes — that’s more than 30 million people. And another 84 million adults in the United States are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
According to the American Diabetes Association, someone is diagnosed with diabetes every 21 seconds.
Types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes means that your body does not make enough insulin, from a genetic or autoimmune cause. Type 1 diabetes is less common (about 5% to 10% of cases).
Type 2 diabetes is 90% to 95% of cases. This is when insulin does not work normally, and blood glucose levels are often higher or lower than the normal range. This can increase your risk of heart attack or stroke and could lead to kidney failure and/or blindness, if not well managed.
You’ve Been Diagnosed with Diabetes. Now What?
Meeting with a diabetes educator is a great way to get support and guidance, including how to:
- Follow a healthy eating plan.
- Get physically active.
- Test your blood sugar.
- Give yourself insulin by syringe, pen, or pump, if needed.
- Monitor your feet, skin, and eyes to catch problems early.
- Get diabetes supplies and store them according to package directions.
- Manage stress and deal with daily diabetes care.
Ask your doctor about diabetes self-management education and support, and to recommend a diabetes educator. You can also search the American Association of Diabetes Educators’ nationwide directory for a list of educators in your community.
Have a question? Contact us at AskANurse@DirectPathHealth.com
Source: Samuel Andrews II, MD, endocrinologist, Ochsner Medical Center, New Orleans, and co-author of The New Sugar Busters. Content source:
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Diabetes Translation