What you need to know about Diabetes

Source: Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania Newsletter

What do Halle Berry, Mary Tyler Moore, Nick Jonas, and Bret Michaels have in common? If you answered they’re all well-known celebrities, you’d be right. But did you know they had diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that affects more than 29 million (famous and not-so famous) Americans. A diabetes diagnosis means your body either cannot make or properly use insulin. Insulin is used by your body to break down sugar and fat. When the body can’t break down sugar and fat, serious health problems can result.

There are 2 types of diabetes

  • Type 1 is when the body does not produce insulin
  • Type 2 is when the body cannot properly use the insulin it produces

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. But type 2 is the most common. In fact, 95% of diabetic Americans have type 2-that’s 1 in every 11 people.

Diabetes is everyone’s disease. More than 1.7 million new cases are diagnosed each year, and that number keeps growing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention feel s that 1 in every 3 people will have diabetes by 2050.

Keeping diabetes in check

If you have diabetes, day -to-day management of your blood sugar levels is one of the best things you can do. If will help you keep healthy so you can keep doing the things you like, with the people you care about. Plus, when your blood sugar levels are properly managed, you could lower your chances of having other health problems that are often associated with diabetes.

Managing diabetes can differ from person to person. You should talk with your doctor about your best course of action. This may include self-monitoring of blood sugar or daily insulin shots. You should see your doctor regularly, eat a healthy diet and stay active. And because your diabetes can change over time, make sure you have your blood sugar level tested throughout the year.

A snapshot of your blood sugar levels

To see a full picture of your blood sugar levels, you should have an A1c blood test twice a year. This test measures your average blood sugar level for the past 2-3 months, and tell your doctor if your levels are or have been close to normal.

Unlike other blood tests you may have, the A1c does not require you to fast. But like the other blood tests, it can give you and your doctor a snapshot of how well your treatment plan is working.