November is Diabetes Awareness Month

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Provided by Patient First

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 37 million people in the United States are living with diabetes. That’s ten percent of our population! Diabetes occurs when the pancreas, which produces the insulin in our bodies that naturally turns glucose into energy, either fails to produce enough insulin to keep those glucose levels at a healthy balance (Type 1) or is otherwise not using that insulin correctly (Type 2). This results in sugar building up in your blood. With that in mind, it’s important to know how to prevent diabetes, and what warning signs to look for if you might already have it.

Early warning signs and symptoms of diabetes include:

• Increased thirst

• Increased hunger

• Dry mouth

• Frequent urination or urine infections

• Unexplained weight loss

• Fatigue

• Blurred vision

• Headaches

• Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal

• Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands and feet

What to do – If you think you may have diabetes, schedule an appointment to see your primary care physician.  They can help diagnose early warning signs, symptoms, or recommend additional testing if needed.  To ensure continuity of care, chronic conditions such as diabetes are best handled by a single physician. Patient First offers primary care for patients who are currently without a primary care physician.

Preventing diabetes – There is no cure for diabetes, but the CDC suggests that losing weight, eating healthy food, and engaging in an active lifestyle are habits can help bring down glucose levels. Other recommendations include taking medicine as prescribed, making and keeping health care appointments, and getting diabetes self-management education and support.

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