As I stare at the massive bucket of candy collected from Halloween, my focus this month is a bit more serious. I have seen, firsthand, the impacts of diabetes when not managed properly. In my teenage years and well into college, I watched my father battle with the disease. He had Type 2 diabetes and did not curb his diet to manage it better and live a healthier lifestyle. Sadly, he passed away from complications that could have been avoided if he had made better diet and weight management choices.
November is American Diabetes Month, and it’s important to shed some light on this disease, as so many people are at risk.
I’m in constant worry about developing diabetes myself. In my second pregnancy, I developed gestational diabetes. Diet was not enough to control it, and I needed to self-administer insulin shots. This was definitely a scary moment, and it increased my risk of developing it down the road. You can learn more about your risk level here by taking a quick test.
Personally, I’ve struggled with my weight for many years now and more recently elevated blood pressure. Both are risk factors for diabetes, coupled with an immediate family member who had the disease; I’m considered high risk. I’m aware of what I eat and make sure I’m careful about sugars and carbs. I know I could be doing more. The American Diabetes Association offers tips for nutrition on their page. Combining good nutrition with exercise is a solid plan for preventing diabetes.
It is certainly important to me that I am around for my girls well beyond their college years. As someone who is borderline prediabetic, I take it seriously. I want to continue being around for my kids, as it broke my heart when my dad passed away before I even got married. I don’t want to miss out on those special moments because I didn’t make the right choices for a healthy lifestyle.
Since my second pregnancy, I have been working closely with my doctor to monitor my risk factors for diabetes. This includes blood work to monitor my A1C, eating a more balanced diet (goodbye carbs!) and more physical activity.
I will continue to stay informed about the resources available to ensure I can stay on top of my health. I found some great information from Everyday Health. Their site includes research studies on diabetes and support groups for those in need of it.
Finally, since the pandemic continues, I thought it important to shed light on diabetes related to Coronavirus. Here is what you need to know about Coronavirus and diabetes. There can be an increased risk of complications from the virus, whether Type 1 or Type 2.
Be safe and take care. Continue to be vigilant and aware of what’s happening in your community.