November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and understanding the disease can help with prevention and management.
There are two different types of diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body becomes resistant to insulin or when your pancreas can’t produce enough insulin. According to University Health officials, it’s not understood why this happens. Being overweight, a lack of physical activity, and genetics can all be contributing factors.
Type 1 diabetes is a condition where the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. This is believed to be caused by genetics and environmental factors, such as viruses, University Health officials say.
In Bexar County, more than 13% of residents have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and 1 out of 8 residents were told they has prediabetes or borderline diabetes by a doctor.
Approximately 90 million people in the U.S. are prediabetic, and more than two-thirds of those patients don’t even realize they have the condition, University Health officials said.
Prediabetes can appear as the following symptoms:
- Weight gain around the stomach
- Sleepiness after a meal
- Lack of energy or constantly feeling tired
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent urination, especially at night
If you have prediabetes, you can take steps to prevent type 2 diabetes. University health recommends checking your glucose levels frequently, eating healthy, moderate portions, exercise at least 150 minutes per week, establish good sleeping habits, and lose weight in a healthy way.
There are also programs set up by San Antonio Metro Health to help prevent and manage diabetes that are free for the community.
KSAT Community operates in partnership with University Health, Energy Transfer and Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union. Click here to read about other KSAT Community efforts.