November is Diabetes Awareness Month
Hays, Kansas (November 1, 2016) November is Diabetes Awareness month. It is a time where healthcare organizations focus attention on the disease and the tens of millions of people affected by it. Over 29 million Americans have diabetes and the numbers are growing.
HaysMed’s Diabetes Solutions and Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center are joining forces to help promote awareness of the diseases, wound complications from the disease and services available for diabetics at HaysMed.
Diabetes causes more deaths than AIDS and breast cancer combined and it is the 7th leading cause of death in the US. There are 86 million Americans who are at risk for diabetes due to lifestyle choices and/or genetic predispositions. One in every 111 Americans has diabetes today. Every 23 seconds someone in the US is diagnosed with diabetes.
Maintaining a healthy weight, eating well and staying active all help to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. With these steps you can stay healthier longer and lower your risk of diabetes.
Diabetes is a problem with your body that causes blood glucose (sugar) levels to rise higher than normal. This is also called hyperglycemia. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease.
In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. The body breaks down the sugars and starches you eat into a simple sugar called glucose, which it uses for energy. Insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives.
If you have type 2 diabetes your body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. At first, your pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. But, over time it isn’t able to keep up and can’t make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose at normal levels.
The following symptoms of diabetes are typical. However, some people with type 2 diabetes have symptoms so mild that they go unnoticed.
Common symptoms of diabetes:
- Urinating often
- Feeling very thirsty
- Feeling very hungry – even though you are eating
- Extreme fatigue
- Blurry vision
- Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
- Weight loss – even though you are eating more (type 1)
- Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)
Early detection and treatment of diabetes can decrease the risk of developing the complications of diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic disease and can cause a number of complications, including some that make it harder for wounds to heal. These include:
- Nerve damage (neuropathy). When you have neuropathy, you may not feel the pain of a cut or blister until it has grown worse or become infected.
- Weakened immune system. When the body’s natural defenses are down, even a minor wound may become infected.
- Narrow arteries. People with clogged arteries in their legs are more likely to develop wounds, have severe wound infections, and have problems healing. Narrowed arteries make it harder for blood to get to the wound. Blood flow promotes healing, so anything that blocks it can make wounds more likely to become infected.
HaysMed provides a monthly program, Diabetes Solutions, to provide patients with quality, comprehensive diabetes self-management education. If you are interested in enrolling please contact your physician and have them fill out a referral form.
The HaysMed Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center also provides services for people who have wound complications from diabetes. They use a multidisciplinary approach to wound management. For more information or to make an appointment call 785-623-5602.