What Do I Need To Know About Diabetes?

diabetesDiabetes is one of the most common health issues in the United States. Although most people have heard some information about Type 2 diabetes, you like many others, might be surprised about the information you don’t know about. In recent years, the ongoing research has provided many improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes, which has allowed for much better management as well as prevention. Here are just a few of the things everyone should know about diabetes.

Diabetes is a Chronic Condition and There Currently Isn’t a Cure

Basically, diabetes is a condition that occurs when the body struggles with managing blood sugar levels. It is caused by your body’s inability to either use or make insulin, which is a hormone that regulates the blood sugar. As a result, one of two things happen, either the body does not make enough or any insulin or the cells in your body are resistant and cannot effectively use the insulin being created. If your body isn’t using insulin to metabolize glucose (a simple sugar) it builds up in the blood, causing high levels of blood sugar, which prevents the cells in your body from getting the energy required to function properly. Diabetes is a chronic condition and there is no cure, so it requires careful management and often times, medication in order to keep the blood sugar levels within a targeted range.

You Don’t Have to be Overweight to Develop Type 2 Diabetes

One of the most common misconceptions about Type 2 diabetes is that you won’t get it unless you are older, overweight and inactive. Research has shown that the condition is also becoming a concern for those who are thin and young. Although about 15% percent of those with type 2 diabetes aren’t overweight, it does not mean that they are healthy.

In other words, looking healthy on the outside, but there are various unhealthy habits that may trick your body into thinking it is overweight and/or unhealthy, which puts you at risk of developing diabetes. For example, when you go to bed, your insulin level may be stable, but when you skip breakfast, it causes your insulin level to drop and then spike and crash when you eat lunch. This yo-yo effect may cause your body to build up a resistance to insulin, so skipping breakfast may actually increase your risk of being diagnosed with diabetes by 54%.

Diabetes Can Go Unnoticed for Years

Many of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes are similar to the symptoms of less worrisome illnesses, so the symptoms often go unnoticed, until it is too late. Many of the symptoms, such as increased hunger, fatigue and increased thirst are often hard to pinpoint a diagnosis for and they often develop over a long period of time. For this reason, it is critical to be tested, especially those who are over the age of 45, those who are overweight and those who may be at a genetic risk of developing diabetes.

Fortunately, there are some basic things that you can do to help prevent and/or manage type 2 diabetes, including maintaining a healthy weight, exercising daily, limit sugary drinks and saturated fats in your diet and avoid tobacco use. If type 2 diabetes is left undiagnosed and untreated for too long, it can lead to a number of life-threatening complications.

Surepoint Emergency Center is open 24 hours a day and is located at I-35E and Loop 288 on the east side of the highway. At Surepoint, you are seen by a doctor within 5 minutes of your arrival. No waiting in the hospital emergency room when you are sick.

Alcohol Awareness

alcoholAlcoholism and Alcohol Abuse Statistics are Staggering

The stereotypes surrounding alcohol abuse may lead to misinformation about its risk and effects. As explained by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), some of the most startling alcohol statistics include the following:

  • Alcohol abuse costs $249 billion each year.
  • 88,000 people die from alcohol abuse in the U.S. annually.
  • Up to 6.2 percent of adults live with an alcohol use disorder (AUD).
  • Drinking alcohol in excess increases risk for engaging in risky behaviors, like unprotected sexual activity, criminal activity, and risk for becoming the victim of a crime.

Alcoholism is More Than a Choice, Resulting from the Brain’s Chemical Dependence on Alcohol

When a person reaches the point of compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over consumption, and negative emotional reactions to not drinking, it constitutes an AUD, otherwise known as alcoholism. Further, withdrawal symptoms may become evident.

Different Levels of AUD Exist

Alcoholism may be classified as mild, intermediate, or severe, depending on how it impacts a person’s life. As a person continues to drink, a tolerance develops, and more alcohol is needed to achieve the same effect.

People May Overlook Signs of AUD

Part of the problem and stigma of alcoholism derives from the volume of cases that go untreated, 93.3 percent of U.S. adults living with an AUD.

Learn to recognize the signs of an AUD, which include:

  • Drinking more than expected.
  • Tried to stop drinking or cut back.
  • Spent excess time drinking or sick from drinking.
  • Experienced cravings.
  • Drinking interfered with work or familial responsibilities.
  • Continued to drink while knowing it was causing problems with family or friends
  • Continued to drink when it caused health problems, like high blood pressure.
  • Avoided once-enjoyed activities in favor of drinking.
  • Increased your chances of getting hurt due to alcohol use, like driving while under the influence.
  • Developed an alcohol tolerance.
  • Experienced withdrawal symptoms when not drinking.

Severe Alcohol Withdrawal Requires Medical Supervision

Depending on severity of dependency, alcohol withdrawal can result in extreme changes in body temperature, severe nausea, hallucinations, high blood pressure, and even a higher risk of respiratory or circulatory failure. Thus, someone seeking help with alcohol withdrawal for severe AUD should seek medical attention.

Get Involved with Alcohol Awareness Now

Developing an AUD can come as a surprise. People may engage in heavy or binge drinking, and dependency develops. Take time to reconsider your own drinking habits or those of your family members and friends. Share the signs of an AUD with others, and if you have exhibited these signs, you may consider exploring potential treatment options to reduce your body’s reliance on alcohol. Also, if you experience any of the severe withdrawal symptoms, especially tremors, hallucinations or a racing pulse, go the emergency center immediately.

Surepoint Emergency Center is open 24 hours a day and is located at I-35E and Loop 288 on the east side of the highway. At Surepoint, you will be seen by a doctor within 5 minutes of your arrival. No waiting in the hospital emergency room, waiting when you are sick.

 

Source: National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence