November is Diabetes Awareness Month!

The purpose of National Diabetes Awareness Month, which occurs in November each year, is to raise awareness and encourage testing for this sometimes silent disease. The CDC estimates that over 30 million Americans are suffering from this chronic health condition, and sadly, about 25% of those afflicted don’t realize they have it.

Diabetes is a disease with two categories: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 is a chronic autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Without insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar, the sugar remains in the blood and can subsequently cause serious damage to organ systems and eventually lead to heart disease. People afflicted with Type 1 diabetes, which is neither preventable nor curable, have to pump or inject insulin into their body each day to regulate their blood sugar.

Type 2 diabetes is more common, and is characterized by a high level of blood sugar (glucose), which comes mostly from the food a person eats. With Type 2 diabetes, the body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use it properly. Too much glucose remains in the blood, potentially causing internal damage. Fortunately, this type of diabetes can be managed and even prevented.

Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include being overweight or obese, being physically inactive, and being genetically predisposed to it. If you think you may have Type 2 diabetes, it’s important to be tested for it with a simple blood test. Symptoms to look for include increased hunger, thirst, and urination; feeling tired and having blurred vision; numbness or tingling in the feet or hands; and unexplained weight loss. Symptoms can develop very slowly and be mild, making it more difficult to notice. Some people have no symptoms at all.

To schedule diabetes testing, or for additional information, please contact Dr. Priyanka Gauravi, Endocrinologist or Teresa Stout, Nurse Practitioner and Certified Diabetic Educator at Morrison Community Hospital.

Morrison Community Hospital

303 North Jackson Street

Morrison, IL 61270