November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Everyone knows someone with diabetes, and is one of those diseases that is incredibly common, and affects people of all ages. Diabetes is characterized by having abnormal levels of glucose in the blood. Cells need sugar for energy and carrying out essential functions, but too much will negatively impact bodily functions. There are two types of diabetes, type 1, and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is found in children and young adults, while type 2 is found in adults.

Insulin is the hormone produced to regulate blood sugar levels. Some people either have an insulin pump to monitor their blood sugar levels, and to administer insulin when necessary; some people prick their finger and test their blood to manually check their blood sugar levels. When blood sugar is too low, or too high, it can cause the body to malfunction with either hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. When blood sugar is getting to be low, is when the body is telling the person that they need to eat; this is called hypoglycemia. Hyperglycemia is when the blood sugar is too high.

There are many symptoms of Diabetes. The Mayo Clinic describes these as, “increased thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, explained weight loss, fatigue, irritability, blurred vision, frequent infections.” If you think you may have any of these symptoms, please see your Primary Care Physician. Diabetes is a relatively manageable disease.

There are a few known causes of Diabetes. The most common factor is being overweight. Other factors include diet, lifestyle, and genetic predisposition. If someone in your family has diabetes, you are more likely yourself to develop it. Do you or anyone you know have diabetes? Please comment below to tell us about how you manage your diabetes, or help to take care of someone with it.

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