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FHCP Highlights Diabetes Awareness Month

FHCP Highlights Diabetes Awareness Month

A diagnosis of diabetes is undoubtedly disappointing and even frightening news. However, you’re not alone. This condition is incredibly common and affects at least 34 million people in the United States, in addition to who are undiagnosed. Left untreated or not properly managed, the progressive, chronic disease can lead to devastating health consequences such as blindness, nerve damage, and kidney failure, among other complications. The good news is you can manage diabetes through mindful management strategies and a commitment to healthy lifestyle choices, including a diabetes-friendly diet and getting plenty of exercise.

You are in the driver’s seat and can take control of your diabetes management! That doesn’t mean you’ll have to do all the research on diabetes management by yourself, though. You’ll get plenty support and guidance from your FHCP healthcare team and will include your primary care doctor, podiatrist, dentist, ophthalmologist, registered dietitian, diabetes educator, and pharmacist.

What Is Diabetes?

The two main types of diabetes are types 1 and 2. Both are chronic diseases that affect how the body regulates glucose (blood sugar) and how the body uses the insulin hormone to help the glucose enter the body’s cells. Glucose is the fuel that feeds the body’s cells as its main source of energy. The primary differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes are age, suddenness of onset, and how the body uses insulin.

  • Type 1: The main characteristic of type 1 diabetes is that this genetic disorder occurs when the body fails to produce enough insulin if it produces any at all. It was previously called juvenile-onset or insulin-dependent diabetes, although this isn’t quite accurate, because it sometimes, although rarely, begins after adolescence. Symptoms include increased hunger and thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, blurred vision, and unintended weight loss. Type 1 diabetics must take insulin shots daily or wear an insulin pump to manage blood sugar to ensure the body gets enough energy.
  • Type 2: This type of diabetes is much more common than type 1 – about 90 to 95% of all diabetics have type 2 diabetes. It is most common in adults over age 45, but even children can develop the disease. The onset of type 2 diabetes is usually very gradual. It’s important to know the risk factors for type 2 diabetes, such as obesity, age, genetics, and a sedentary lifestyle. It’s important to get a blood and/or urine test from your primary care doctor to monitor your glucose levels. If your doctor determines you are prediabetic, you can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes with simple lifestyle changes such as losing weight, eating healthier, and developing a physical activity plan. Type 2 diabetes management includes testing blood sugar regularly, recognizing signs of high or low blood sugar and how to react, monitoring your feet, skin, and eyes for problems, and keeping a strict medication regimen.
  • Other types: Prediabetes, although not full-blown diabetes, is a condition in which blood sugar is higher than normal but not so high as to warrant a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Gestational diabetes involves high blood sugar during pregnancy, and it typically goes away once the woman gives birth, although it can indicate a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later.

Learn More About Diabetes & How You Can Control It

Florida Health Care Plans provides high-quality health insurance solutions for Floridians. We care about your health and take to heart that we are more than just your insurance company and healthcare providers, but your neighbors, too. That’s why we offer diabetes education classes that are free to FHCP members. These classes are led by professionals, including Certified Diabetes Care Education Specialists (CDCES), registered dietitians, and registered nurses. The classes cover disease overview, nutritional tips, learning the signs and symptoms of high or low blood sugar levels, and much more.

For more information, please contact the FHCP Diabetes/Health Education department at 386-676-7133 or 877-299-4518. Click here to view our calendar of events.