November is American Diabetes Month
November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects our pancreas. With diabetes the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or your body is unable to accurately use the insulin produced. Insulin is a hormone in our body that regulates blood glucose. According to a diabetic research statistic from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, more than half a billion people around the world are diabetic. 11.3% are Americans. It is projected 8.7 million people have diabetes, but have not been diagnosed. The affected people include men, women and children of all ages. An eye opening statistic is that the number of people living with diabetes is expected to double in 30 years.
Daily blood sugar monitoring is very important for diabetics. This is a great step in managing type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Monitoring blood sugar is how you are able to tell what makes your numbers fluctuate. Eating different foods, taking medicine, or being active are all ways that can manipulate your blood sugar levels. Dr Trent Wallace compares blood sugar monitoring as receiving a report card in school. The blood level counts that you check on a daily basis are considered your "grades." These good or bad daily grades will affect your A1C levels that is checked every 3 months by your doctor. Your A1C levels are considered your grade on your report card. This can tell the doctor and yourself if there needs to be adjustments made to your diet, if the number is too high.
Obtaining an A1C level is considered to be a simple blood test that will measure your average blood levels over that past three months. This test is commonly used to diagnose prediabetics. Testing your A1C is vital for your doctors and yourself to manage your diabetes. A normal A1C level is considered to be under 5.7%, anywhere from 5.7-6.4% is the prediabetic range, and 6.5% or over you are diabetic. Work with your doctor to set an individual goal for your doctor to set a A1C goal.
Way to Improve Your Quality of Life with Diabetes:
· Stay Educated about Diabetes and Join a Support Group
· A Healthy Diet
· Manage Your Blood Sugar
· Regular Doctor Visits
Diabetic Healthy Foods:
· Seafood, Turkey, Chicken, Lean Beef, Pork Tenderloin
· Dairy Foods
· Soy Protein
· Vegetables, including salad greens, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms and sweet potatoes
The American Diabetes Association is a great resource. This organization studies diabetes in research and education. This is a support organization for the diabetic community. The American Diabetes Association website is full with resources to help during your journey with this chronic disease. For more information regarding The American Diabetic Association follow this link (American Diabetes Association | Research, Education, Advocacy)
You can also read more about how diabetes affects the retina on the Tennessee Retina website at https://www.tnretina.com/retinal-care/diabetic-retinopathy.
Jamie Gregory, one of our very own employees is a type 2 diabetic. She is a wife and mother and strives to maintain a healthy lifestyle for her and her family. She has created a video sharing her wonderful family recipe "Turkey Taco Bowls." This is a delicious diabetic friendly dish. During the video she talks about her personal story living with diabetes, but also talks about maintaining a healthy lifestyle with your diet and how manageable this can be. I encourage you if you have the time, check out this video. You are not going to miss this delicious dish! This recipe link will be shared on our Facebook page and will air on our YouTube channel November 8th,2023. Stay tuned!