Is an excellent time to talk about...diabetes! And we're not alone: 1 in 10 Americans (or about 37 million Americans) have diabetes.
COMMON MYTHS ABOUT DIABETES
MYTH - I went CRAZY on Halloween and ate a ton of sugar! I generally eat a lot of sugar anyway, so I will probably get diabetes.
Luckily, for you trick-or-treaters, this is somewhat false. Sugar itself does not cause diabetes. Becoming overweight from eating too much sugar on a regular basis, however, can increase your chances of getting Type 2 diabetes.
To be clear: diabetes is when the body does not make enough insulin. Insulin moves the sugar in our blood into the cells to produce energy for our bodies. When there's too much residual sugar not making it into the cells (as is the case with diabetics) the blood sugar level rises.
For general health reasons though, you really should cut back on sugar (particularly refined sugar) as much as possible.
MYTH - I have no family history of diabetes, so I won't get it.
False. While family history can play a part in increased risk of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, many factors and lifestyle choices can influence your chances of getting Type 2 diabetes. These include:
It's important to take a truthful and comprehensive look at your family history, health choices, and genetic risk factors when assessing your odds of acquiring diabetes.
MYTH - Only overweight people get diabetes. I am skinny, so I have nothing to worry about.
Regardless of weight, anyone can get diabetes. Like with any disease, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, keeping stress down, and getting adequate sleep all assist in keeping you healthy overall, and lowering your chances of getting diabetes.
MYTH - Now that I have diabetes, I can never eat sugar or Halloween candy again!
Not true. While extra precautions (such as increasing your dose of insulin for the day) should be taken to prevent complications, diabetic folks can eat sugar. It just requires some planning, and be sure to speak with your doctor on how best to approach occasional, celebratory "sugar fests" like Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
I'M CONCERNED THAT I MIGHT BE PRE-DIABETIC OR I'M ALREADY DIABETIC. WHAT CAN ADVANCED URGENT CARE DO TO HELP ME?
At Advanced Urgent Care, we are very familiar with handling diabetic patients. Our physicians will obtain your medical history and perform a physical examination. Blood work (including a glucose study) will be performed to assess your blood sugar levels. Depending upon the results, our doctors might make dietary and lifestyle suggestions, prescribe insulin or other medications, and / or recommend more acute monitoring of your condition.
Diabetes is a serious disease, which can affect other aspects of your body's functions. However, with preventive measures, a proper diagnosis, and thoughtful health maintenance, patients with diabetes can expect to have a good quality of life.
For more information on diabetes diagnosis, prevention, and care, visit the American Diabetes Association.