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HEALTHIER YOU: Understanding diabetes

November 12, 2019 by  
Filed under Health

Understanding diabetes



November is American Diabetes Month, and it is important to understand how this sometimes fatal disease affects millions of people. More than two million African- Americans are estimated to have diabetes — a chronic disease with no cure. Nearly 6% of African-American men and 8% of African-American women have this disease. It disproportionately affects African-Americans at a rate nearly double that of white Americans, and diabetes death rates for African-Americans are 2.5 times higher than their white counterparts.

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone that converts sugar, starches and other food into energy. There are three types of diabetes. Type 1 usually begins in childhood and the body does not make insulin. Type 2 is an adult onset diabetes in which the body is resistant to insulin. The third type is limited to pregnancy-gestational diabetes. While there is no known cause for diabetes, genetics and other factors, such as obesity and lack of exercise, appear to play a major part.

Gestational diabetes is a temporary form of the disease that develops during pregnancy. It usually goes away after childbirth — however, women with gestational diabetes are at an increased risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. This condition is 80% more frequent in black women than white women.

Doctors no longer discourage women with diabetes from becoming pregnant. The key to a healthy pregnancy for a woman with diabetes is tight blood glucose control before and during pregnancy. Because the early weeks in a pregnancy are so important, it is a good idea to be in a good blood glucose control three to six months before planning a pregnancy.

Symptoms of diabetes in Type 1 cases include frequent urination, unusual thirst, extreme hunger, unusual weight loss, extreme fatigue and irritability. Type 2 diabetes include: Any of the type 1 symptoms, frequent infections, blurred vision, cuts and or bruises that are slow to heal, tingling and numbness in hands and feet, recurring skin, gum or bladder infections.

Diabetes is hereditary, so it is important to know your family health history. If you suspect that you are having health conditions related to diabetes in any way, you should see your health care professional for an examination. Or you can call the Las Vegas All Women’s Care at (702) 522-9640, and visit us at 700 Shadow Lane #165 in Las Vegas.

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