American Diabetes Awareness Month
November is American Diabetes Month, and at Harbin Clinic, we want patients and the community to be aware of the risks, symptoms, and available treatments to combat the diabetes epidemic. There are two different types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2. Both are related to the body’s production and response to insulin. Insulin is produced in the pancreas and allows glucose to enter the body’s cells as energy. The purpose of insulin is to lower the sugar levels in your blood, and too much or too little insulin can cause dangerously low or high blood sugar levels.
“During my time at Harbin Clinic, I have had the opportunity to aid patients living with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. As this disease has no medicinal cure, it is my job to listen to the concerns of my patients, so I can formulate a treatment plan that helps them reach their health goals.” –Dr. Ahed Mansoura with Endocrinology Rome.
Often there are no symptoms when it comes to diabetes or prediabetes. However, some first signs of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are extreme thirst, excessive urination often at night, loss of weight without trying, extreme hunger, blurry vision, numb or tingling hands or feet, tiredness, or dryness of skin.
Type 1 Diabetes
Patients with Type 1 diabetes do not produce insulin, and therefore they must take insulin injections as a treatment since there is no current cure for diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is often genetically inherited, it can be hereditary or through the presence of specific genes. The maintenance of Type 1 diabetes includes taking prescribed insulin, eating a balanced diet with accurate carbohydrate counts, checking blood sugar levels, and seeing your doctor as recommended to check your A1c. The A1c percentage measures glycated hemoglobin, or how well your body has controlled the amount of sugar in the blood.
Type 2 Diabetes
Patients with Type 2 diabetes do not respond to insulin production and often do not produce enough insulin later in the disease. Treatment for Type 2 diabetes includes diet, exercise, and medications. Unlike Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 can be prevented and is even reversible in the prediabetes stage if proper lifestyle changes are made.
According to the CDC, about 1 in every 3 U.S. adults have prediabetes, around 88 million people, and most of them do not even know they have it. Prediabetes can be reversed by making lifestyle changes that will leave you happier and healthier in the long run.
Our Harbin Clinic doctors are specialists in their field and have worked closely with patients in the community living with diabetes. Harbin Clinic Internal Medicine physician Dr. Amar Singh proposed some tips for managing and reversing diabetes that has proven beneficial to his patients.
- Start small– making massive lifestyle changes all at once can be overwhelming and even unhealthy for your mental and physical wellbeing. It is essential to take small steps when making changes to your daily habits to adjust and keep moving forward. It is okay to have setbacks; the important thing is that you get right back on track.
- Make healthy food and beverage choices– foods high in fiber but low in sugar and fats are the best for diabetic and prediabetic individuals. Try to balance your meals with vegetables, proteins, and carbohydrates. Avoid sweetened and artificial drinks and choose water instead.
- Get moving- aim to get about 30 minutes of physical activity a day for about five days of the week. Start slowly by breaking it up throughout the day, and progress to 30 minutes or more of regular exercise. However, it can be hard to step away from your desk while at work, aim to limit your time spent sitting by taking breaks to get up and move around.
- Lose weight- by losing five to seven percent of your starting weight, you can prevent or delay diabetes. Choosing to eat healthier, more balanced meals, and getting active, are ways to begin to lose weight and feel healthier.
- Talk to a doctor- seek support from a local specialist, and you can make a plan of action to live healthier and even reverse Type 2 diabetes. Making a plan and tracking your progress makes it easier to see the end goal and work towards it. Our Harbin Clinic doctors are on your team and are ready to support you on this journey.
“I am here to help and support patients and meet them wherever they are in the process of making an enduring change in their life. My passion for Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine has allowed me to explore different treatment methods, including my weight management program, with firsthand positive patient results. Type 2 Diabetes and Prediabetes are preventable and reversible diseases using an evidence-based holistic approach. It is so rewarding as a doctor to see my patients meet their goals and add many happy and healthy years to their lives.”- Dr. Amar Singh of Singh Internal Medicine.
If you think you may have diabetes or prediabetes, take the online test below the CDC offers as an initial assessment. If you have questions or concerns or feel that you need to make an appointment with a specialist, visit your primary care physician or appointment with Endocrinology Rome or Singh Internal Medicine to see our Harbin Clinic Diabetes specialists.