November is National Diabetes
Diabetes awareness—what are the signs and what should I do?
Diabetes is a chronic condition that can lead to serious health problems. Studies show the incidence of diabetes is increasing at a fast pace in Arkansas as well as the United States.
Diabetes symptoms can be very mild and at first you might not even know that you were experiencing them. Diabetes has different reasons for onset. The most common types are Type 1 and Type 2. Gestational diabetes can also occur during pregnancy and you should be tested for this by your OB/GYN.
"Like many other conditions, you may have early diabetes even without any symptoms," says Michael Stout, M.D.
, a family medicine specialist at our new Neighborhood Clinic in Maumelle
. "Finding out is important, especially given the strong link between diabetes and heart disease, one of our most common and dangerous diseases. When found early, the treatment is very straightforward, even sometimes without requiring prescription medications. Diabetes is easily diagnosed with simple lab tests, often at your annual physical. -We encourage everyone to have an annual physical examination, which should include screening for diabetes based on various factors, including your age, weight and family history."
Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes can have the following symptoms, but are not limited to just these:
- You may urinate a lot, which may be more noticeable at night. The kidneys are trying to get rid of the excess sugar in the blood. To do that, they have to get rid of more water, which means more urine.
- You may be very thirsty. This happens if you urinate so often that you lose enough water to become dehydrated.
- Dry mouth is associated with dehydration as well.
- You may lose weight without trying. This happens because you are dehydrated. Weight loss may also happen if you are losing all of those sugar calories in your urine instead of using them.
- You might have increased hunger. You feel hungry because your body isn't using all the calories that it can. Many of them leave your body in your urine instead.
- You may have blurry vision. When sugar builds up in the lens of your eye, it sucks extra water into your eye. This changes the shape of the lens and blurs your vision.
- Headaches are common.
- You might feel very tired. You feel tired for the same reason you feel hungry. Your body isn't using the calories you are eating, and your body isn't getting the energy it needs.
- You might lose consciousness (rare).
What should you do if you have these symptoms?
- 1.Speak with your doctor about your symptoms. Your physician will run tests and have you check your blood sugar in intervals to see what is going on. Your doctor may recommend medication to help with your insulin levels.
- 2.Talk to your doctor about meeting with a dietician to receive nutritional counseling for your type of diabetes.
- 3.If you are not already, you should begin with moderate exercise such as walking and some weight training to help boost your body’s metabolism. Meet with an exercise specialist to build a program that will fit you. Most local gyms offer this service at little to no cost for program design. Be sure that the program designer is certified and aware of your medical background.
Please do not wait to follow these steps. Your health is very important and waiting could put your future at risk. For more nutritional guidance, please visit the UAMS Nutrition and Weight Loss page.
Thanksgiving and the holidays are here!
This time of year there are office parties and family gatherings in abundance. Here are some tips to fight the battle of the bulge this holiday season:
- Always eat before going to a party with finger foods. It's easy to get wrapped up in conversation and over eat without intending to. Also, try not to stand near the food. The closer you are, the easier it is to re-fill your plate.
- If going to a potluck, try to bring a dish that you know is a healthy (but yummy) option. This can be your safe go-to dish for your main course and you can make choices as to what sides are best for you.
- No one ever gained 5 pounds from eating one meal, but at the same time it's a combination of not-so-good meals that adds to holiday weight gain. Remember, the holidays are usually filled with lots of meals. If you choose to over indulge at all of them you will lose the battle of the bulge. Pick and choose where you want to splurge and do it sparingly.
- Don't give up and throw in the towel because you messed up on one meal. A lot of times people use one bad meal to justify giving up and eating whatever they please for the next week. If you mess up, just get right back on track your next meal and don't sweat it. Unless you come to the gym, then by all means sweat away with exercise.
- Try not to drink your calories. If you plan to eat less healthy, try to stick with water. We usually forget that beverages have calories and don't take them into consideration. Be careful.
- Try your best to stick to your workout schedule. If you find yourself at your Grandma's house 50 miles away from the closest gym, do something active anyway. Go for a walk after your meal. It will de-stress you and remove some of the excess you might partake in. Pinterest is full of quick high-energy workout sessions that require no equipment.
A big THANK YOU to our Veterans
Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving