November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and I’m excited to be hosting an education campaign to help you manage diabetes or pre-diabetes, and even prevent diabetes from developing.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 26 million Americans currently have diabetes and another estimated 79 million have pre-diabetes.
If current trends continue, 1 of 3 U.S. adults will have diabetes by 2050. So if you have more than two people in your life, then you probably know someone that has or is at risk for diabetes.
Once you understand what is happening in your body and come to terms with your feelings surrounding the diagnosis, it becomes easy to be committed to the lifestyle and behavior modifications required to get you back to optimal health and normal blood sugars.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is the inappropriate regulation of blood sugar in the body. Normally the body digests food by breaking it down into fuel or glucose. Glucose then enters the bloodstream with the goal of entering the cells.
In response to glucose, the pancreas releases insulin, which binds to cells and allows the easy passage of glucose from the bloodstream into the cell. The amount of insulin released by the pancreas is in direct proportion to the amount of glucose in the bloodstream.
When someone has diabetes this process is impaired and glucose has trouble getting out of the blood stream and into the cell.
What is Pre-diabetes?
Pre-diabetes occurs when your body is having some difficulty regulating your blood glucose levels, which is sometimes called impaired glucose tolerance. Without an immediate change of behavior, you will be diagnosed with diabetes at some point in the future.
Diabetes Diagnosis – Emotions Running Wild
The emotions that accompany a diabetes or pre-diabetes diagnosis can often be overlooked, but they are a crucial part of the treatment plan. Common emotions you might feel after receiving your diagnosis are panic, denial, confusion, frustration, anger and fear. Anger, frustration and fear are all borne out of a lack of control over your health situation.
The first step to treating diabetes is to recognize and manage your feelings about your diagnose. Otherwise they will sabotage your attempts to stick to your treatment plan and lifestyle changes.
Once you have been diagnosed and you give yourself the permission to understand your emotions, you will be ready to make the changes required to manage it.
We will continue this discussion on treatment options later this month to celebrate National Diabetes Awareness Month.
Dr. Daemon Jones
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 Aug. 2011. Web. 5 Nov. 2013.
"Living with diabetes blog." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 3 Mar. 2009. Web. 5 Nov. 2013.
Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 26 Jan. 2012. Web. 5 Nov. 2013.