March is Diabetes Awareness Month

by Kathleen on March 12, 2013

March is Diabetes Awareness Month.


My brother-in-law lives with a permanent pump which regulates his blood sugar levels. He’s a very, very active 50-something with two kids, a wife and a dog. They’ve learned to watch his blood sugar levels, travel with necessary meds and seamlessly incorporate monitoring into their busy lives.

With proper education, tools and advice, many people can learn to live healthy and happy lives, even if diagnosed with Diabetes.

Diabetes affects millions of Americans and can have profound effects on many health conditions from heart disease and strokes to blindness, kidney disease, high blood pressure and amputations.

The following statistics are taken from the American Diabetes Association’s website:

Data from the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet (released Jan. 26, 2011)

Total prevalence: 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—have diabetes.

Diagnosed: 18.8 million people

Undiagnosed: 7.0 million people

Pre-diabetes: 79 million people*

New Cases: 1.9 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in people aged 20 years and older in 2010.

* In contrast to the 2007 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, which used fasting glucose data to estimate undiagnosed diabetes and pre-diabetes, the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet uses both fasting glucose and A1C levels to derive estimates for undiagnosed diabetes and pre-diabetes. These tests were chosen because they are most frequently used in clinical practice.

Diabetes is a disease that can go undiagnosed because many of its symptoms seem so harmless.

Industry research indicates that early detection of diabetes symptoms and treatment can decrease the chance of developing the complications of diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

  • Frequent urination
  • Unusual thirst
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Extreme fatigue and Irritability

Type 2 Diabetes

  • Any of the type 1 symptoms
  • Frequent infections
  • Blurred vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Tingling/numbness in the hands/feet
  • Recurring skin, gum, or bladder infections

If you have one or more of these diabetes symptoms, see your doctor right away.

Even if you exhibit no symptoms, you may still be at risk.

Many people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms. That is why it is important to take the Online Diabetes Risk Test to find out if you are at risk for type 2 diabetes. 

Also, women with gestational diabetes often have no symptoms which is why it’s crucial for at-risk women to be tested at the proper time during pregnancy.

Risk factors for gestational diabetes include:

  • Being overweight prior to pregnancy
  • Having had gestational diabetes in a prior pregnancy
  • Having a family history of diabetes

The American Diabetes website is chock-full of helpful information to learn how one can live well with diabetes and keep it under control.

The Better You Eat, The Better You Feel

These basic food guidelines will help you and your family make healthier food decisions, whether anyone in the family is coping with diabetes or not:

  • Eat lots of vegetables and fruits.
  • Choose whole grain foods over processed grain products. Try brown rice instead of white. Substitute whole wheat bread for white.
  • Eat fish 2 – 3 times a week.
  • Select leaner cuts of meat like those that end in “loin.”
  • Remove the skin from chicken and turkey.
  • Eat non-fat dairy.
  • Drink water and calorie-free non-carbonated beverages.
  • Use liquid oils for cooking instead of solid fats.
  • Cut back on high calorie snacks like chips, cookies, cakes, and regular ice cream. Look for baked chips and reduced calorie snacks. Or have a piece of fruit instead.
  • Watch your portion sizes. Even too much “healthy” food can cause weight gain.

Another resource that you might find valuable is the American Diabetes Association’s online nutrition tool, My Food Advisor. Once you sign up, you can find recipes, compare foods, search for healthier alternatives and calculate calories, carbohydrates and other nutrients for a meal, a recipe or a whole day of food.


Kathleen Cleary is a Caregiver Coach and Consultant helping Professional Women find the answers they need to continue living their best life while caring for aging parents. As a Certified Senior Advisor, she offers Seniors and their adult children customized plans of care as well as resources and information to help them navigate the challenges of aging.

Skype: kathleen.cleary12


For a free 20 minute consultation: click here

If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed … or confused and afraid of the journey ahead, I can help! Let’s chat.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

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