American Diabetes Month

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic conditions worldwide, affecting about 1 in 11 adults. Its prevalence means you probably know someone who has diabetes, so being aware of this disease and how it can affect one’s life is important. This American Diabetes Month, take the time to learn about what’s true—and what isn’t—about this condition.

MYTH: Diabetes is a single disease.

FACT: Diabetes is actually a group of diseases, all of which affect how your body metabolizes blood sugar. Chronic diabetes include Type 1 and Type 2, but some forms of diabetes are also potentially reversible, like gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy. Although diabetes can develop at any age, Type 1 diabetes often shows up during childhood or adolescence, while Type 2 more commonly occurs in people over the age of 40.

MYTH: Eating a lot of sugar causes diabetes.

FACT: Diabetes is caused by your body either not making enough insulin or not using it well, both of which can increase your blood sugar levels, but eating sugar itself doesn’t directly cause someone to develop diabetes. However, excess sugar can lead to obesity, which is a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

MYTH: If you don’t have a family history of diabetes, you won’t get it yourself.

FACT: While family history is a risk factor for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, other factors are also involved. In fact, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by maintaining a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and not smoking. 

MYTH: People who have diabetes can’t eat sweets.

FACT: As long as you plan for them, you can have a few sweets in moderation, even if you have diabetes. This planning can include decreasing your carbohydrate intake from other sources or, if you take insulin, taking a higher dose than normal. Your healthcare provider can tell you about how you can safely indulge in the occasional treat while still keeping your diabetes under control.

MYTH: It’s unsafe to exercise if you have diabetes.

FACT: Exercise is in fact a vital step to managing diabetes, because it helps increase your body’s sensitivity to insulin. However, if you do have diabetes, you should talk to your healthcare provider about how to watch for potential problems that may arise with your eyes, feet, or heart when you exercise.

The International Diabetes Foundation predicts that in the next 10 years, the number of people with diabetes around the world will rise from 463 million to 578 million, and in 25 years, it’ll reach 700 million. However, with proper knowledge about prevention and management, we can work towards slowing this growth. Have a great rest of the month, and as always, stay healthy and stay safe!

–The Wellness and Stress Clinic Team

Sources:

Antibiotic Awareness Week

Did you know the discovery of penicillin, the world’s first mass-produced antibiotic, was an accident? In 1928, Alexander Fleming returned to his lab after a vacation and found that a fungus had contaminated the bacteria he had been studying, and the fungus was secreting a substance that was killing the bacteria. This happy accident earned Fleming a Nobel Prize and penicillin the nickname of a “wonder drug.” When used correctly, antibiotics do indeed have the power to save many lives, but now, their misuse is posing a significant threat to public health— the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Fortunately, by following these tips, you can get the maximum benefit from antibiotics when you’re sick, protect yourself from the dangers of antibiotic misuse, and do your part to combat antibiotic resistance in the world:

  1. Know what antibiotics can and can’t do. Antibiotics can help treat some bacterial infections, like strep throat, whooping cough and UTIs, just to name a few. They will not make you feel better if you’re infected with a virus, like the common cold, flu, or COVID-19, and taking antibiotics for a viral infection only puts you at risk for experiencing side effects.
  2. If you are prescribed an antibiotic, follow the instructions of your healthcare provider exactly. Don’t share your antibiotics with anyone else or take antibiotics prescribed to someone else, and don’t skip a dose, even if you think you feel better.
  3. Tell your healthcare provider if you develop any side effects or reactions while taking antibiotics. Some possible antibiotic side effects include rash, nausea, and diarrhea. They can be minor or life-threatening, and they may indicate an allergy or a more severe infection.
  4. Continue practicing good hygiene. This reduces your chances of falling sick, so that you don’t have to take antibiotics in the first place, and it also helps keep the people around you safe. This is a win-win situation, so keep washing your hands and covering your face with a mask!

Knowing how to use antibiotics correctly is so important that the CDC has designated the week of November 18-24, 2020, as Antibiotic Awareness Week. Now that you know what to do and what not to do, it would be a great idea to take a few minutes to tell a friend about what you’ve learned. And as always, remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

–The Wellness and Stress Clinic Team

Sources:

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000959.htm