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JABSOM Library: Library Updates

American Diabetes Month

by Lara Gamboa on 2022-11-16T11:15:00-10:00 | Comments

Can you believe it’s already November?! It’s practically Christmas. Alexa, play Jingle Bell Rock.

Sadly, it may not be December just yet but this month is American Diabetes Month. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) promotes November to raise awareness about diabetes, and this year’s campaign is “Today’s Diabetes Hits Differently!

So what is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic medical condition that has an impact on how your body converts food into energy.

Your body converts the food you eat into sugar (glucose), then releases it into your bloodstream. Your pancreas releases insulin when your blood sugar levels rise. Insulin is key to letting the blood sugar into your body’s cells for use as energy. When you have diabetes, your body produces insufficient insulin or misuses it. Too much blood sugar remains in your bloodstream when low insulin or cells cease reacting to insulin. That can eventually lead to significant health issues like renal disease, eyesight loss, and heart disease. (1)

There are 3 main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes seems to be caused by a problem with the immune system (the system that helps fight infection). There is currently no cure for type 1 diabetes. (2)
  • The most prevalent kind of diabetes is type 2 diabetes. If you are overweight and inactive or have prediabetes, you are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Having prediabetes means your blood glucose levels are higher than usual but not high enough for you to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. (2)
  • Some pregnant women may develop gestational diabetes. Diabetes during pregnancy raises your and your unborn child's risk of developing health issues. For instance, gestational diabetes may increase your or your child's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. (2)

Today, approximately 11.2% of the adult population in Hawaii has been diagnosed with diabetes (3). Although there’s no cure, there are ways to manage diabetes as well as prevent or delay getting it.

What are some ways to prevent/manage diabetes?

If you are at risk for Type 2 diabetes, you may be able to prevent or delay getting it. Most things involve having a healthier lifestyle so once you make the changes, you will not only lower your risk for other diseases but you will also get other health benefits. Here are some changes you can start with: (4)

  • Losing weight and keeping it off: Weight control is an important part of diabetes prevention. By losing 5%-10% of your current weight, you may be able to prevent or delay diabetes.
  • Follow a healthy eating plan: By reducing the number of calories you eat and drink a day, you can lose weight and keep it off. Include a variety of foods from each food group into your diet as well as less fat and sugar.
  • Exercise regularly: Exercising regularly can help you lose weight and lower your blood sugar levels and in turn, lowers your risk of type 2 diabetes. 
  • Don't smoke: Smoking can increase insulin resistance, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. Try to quit if you already smoke.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider: Your healthcare provider can help determine whether there is anything else you can do to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.

If you have diabetes, you can manage it and live a long and healthy life by taking care of yourself each day. Here are some ways to manage diabetes: (5)

Check out our Consumer Health Resources Guide for resources about diabetes. 

Resources: 

(1) https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/diabetes.html

(2) https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/health-conditions/diabetes/take-steps-prevent-type-2-diabetes#take-action-tab

(3) https://diabetes.org/get-involved/community/local-offices/hawaii

(4) https://medlineplus.gov/howtopreventdiabetes.html

(5) https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/managing-diabetes


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