November is Diabetes Awareness Month
You may have diabetes and not even know it — nearly half the adult population in Monterey County, 45 percent, have prediabetes or diabetes. November is Diabetes Awareness Month — a great time to boost your awareness about the risk factors, symptoms, and types of diabetes.
Signs and symptoms of diabetes
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 34.2 million U.S. adults have diabetes, and one in five of them don’t know they have it. An additional 88 million U.S. adults have prediabetes, a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. People with prediabetes are at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Awareness of diabetes symptoms and education on how to manage diabetes can help avoid possible complications.
Some signs of diabetes are:
- Increased thirst and frequent urination
- Sudden weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Increased hunger
- Areas of darkened skin
- Non-healing wounds
If you experience any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor to be tested for diabetes.
What to do if you're diagnosed
If you are diagnosed with diabetes, you don’t have to let it get in the way of living a happy and healthy life. While there is no cure for diabetes, incorporating diet and lifestyle changes, combined with medications can make it possible to live a healthy life with diabetes. Some things to consider when it comes to managing your diabetes:
- Eat well: Consume more whole foods from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy sources of fat. Decrease added sugars and salt in your diet. It is also important to try to eat consistently throughout the day to best manage blood sugars.
- Incorporate exercise: Physical activity is a great way to control diabetes and prevent the onset of diabetes. Aiming for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week can help reduce your risk of developing diabetes and/or help manage blood sugars.
- Take your medication: Take your medications as prescribed by your doctor.
- Monitor your blood sugar: Tracking your food intake, exercise, medication management, and blood sugars can show you what affects your blood sugars.
Diabetes support at Montage Health
Our team of dietitians and nurses at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula can provide education and counseling to help you manage diabetes. We offer one-on-one appointments, online classes, and in-person group classes (once classes resume), depending on your needs. We can also provide this education in Spanish and other languages.
To see one of the diabetes educators at Community Hospital’s Outpatient Diabetes and Nutrition Therapy offices, a doctor’s referral is required to bill insurance. If you are interested in learning about insurance coverage, please call your specific plan’s member benefits number to find out about insurance coverage for diabetes.
If you have questions, contact:
Diabetes and Nutrition Therapy
2 Upper Ragsdale Drive, Building D, Suite 200
Monterey, CA 93940
Main: (831) 649-7220
Guidance for this content was provided by Maggie Evans, MS, RDN, CDE.
Maggie Evans is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist. She completed her undergraduate degree at Long Beach State University and her graduate degree at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She is passionate about using food and exercise to help others achieve optimal health and wellness.