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November is Diabetes Awareness Month

Updated: Dec 2, 2021



Did you know?

Did you know diabetes is the 6th most common deadliest disease globally, according to the World Health Organization? Did you know that diabetes has an impact not only on your physical and internal health but also on your mental health? Did you know that in the last 20 years, those diagnosed with diabetes in America have more than doubled? Well, suppose you didn't know these facts. In that case, I hope you pay attention to this blog to become informed about the diabetes diagnosis and learn lifestyle choices that can help you reduce your risk of getting diabetes or help a friend or family member with information about lifestyle changes to improve their ways of living with diabetes.


What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a long-lasting and chronic health condition that affects how the body processes sugar and turns food into energy. Diabetes is diagnosed when your body does not make enough insulin or does not use insulin in your body as it should. The pancreas produces insulin. Insulin is used in the body to break down sugar from the foods a person consumes. When sugar remains in the body for too long, a person is diagnosed with diabetes.


How does diabetes impact the body?

The body is a whole working system that consists of the parts/organs, brain/mind, and spirit. When a part of the body is impacted from not operating to its optimal capacity, the whole system begins to break down. For example, diabetes impacts the body physically by affecting a person's vision, energy levels, and the functioning of other organs. Thus, leading to other health diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, and kidney failure. In addition, diabetes impacts a person's mental health by causing depression and anxiety due to a lack of regulation of insulin in the body. Insulin is the body's primary energy source and one of the body's sources that helps regulate a person's mood. Mental Health America reports the following about diabetes and mental health:

  • "People living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.

  • Rates of depression across the lifespan are two times greater for people with diabetes than for the general population.

  • People with type 1 diabetes are twice as likely to live with disordered eating.

  • In women with type 1 diabetes, bulimia is the most common eating disorder. In contrast, women with type 2 diabetes are more likely to deal with binge eating."

Many people impacted by diabetes need hope and courage to push past their diagnosis and experience a more positive outlook on their new normal. Many of these people turn to spirituality in hopes of gaining clarity and encouragement for better days.

What can you do to improve your health or reduce your risk of being diagnosed with diabetes?

If you want to reduce your chances of being diagnosed with diabetes or improve your health if you are diagnosed with diabetes, I encourage you to do the following:

  • Attend regular doctor visits to have your CBC measured regularly and to ensure you are in optimal health.

  • Exercise or have movement for a minimum of 30 minutes every day.

  • Incorporate more fruits and vegetables in your daily food consumption intake.

  • Reduce your sugar and processed food intake.

  • Reduce your stress, take care of your mental health, and see a counselor.

I hope that this blog helped to provide you more insight into the diabetes disease and that you learned healthy ways to cope with diabetes or reduce your risk of being diagnosed with diabetes.


Authored: Brittney Collins-Jefferson, LCSW, LCADCI


References

https://www.healthline.com/health/top-10-deadliest-diseases https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/diabetes.html https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/diabetes-treatment/art-20044084


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