Envision Sport is Supporting National Diabetes Month

Christina Wright-Yee, MPH, RDN, CSP

The Envision Sport team has some close ties to loved ones with diabetes and wants to raise awareness for the cause!

What is diabetes? Diabetes is a general term that encompasses three major types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, and prediabetes. Diabetes is a life-long condition that impacts your blood glucose control, or the amount of sugar in the bloodstream. When you eat food, it breaks down into glucose (sugar), which enters the blood stream. When blood sugars rise, the pancreas, an organ in the body, produces a hormone called insulin to help regulate these blood sugar levels. In people with diabetes, the pancreas either doesn’t produce enough insulin or the body cannot use the insulin well enough. Often the news and other media do not differentiate between the types despite their large differences. Here’s a quick overview:

Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease. The body attacks the pancreas and stops the pancreas from producing any insulin. A person with Type 1 diabetes will be on insulin injections or insulin pump therapy to replace the insulin their body cannot make for the remainder of their lives. There are no

known causes for this diagnosis and can be diagnosed in infants, children and in adulthood. Type 1 diabetes was previously called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, but because it is more wide-spread, the name changed. Type 1 diabetes makes up 5-10% of the total population of people who have diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes is when an individual’s body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or isn’t sensitive enough to the insulin the body does produce. A person with Type 2 diabetes may be able to control their blood sugars through lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise or a combination of lifestyle changes with oral medications and/or insulin injections. Approximately 90-95% of the population with

diabetes have type 2 diabetes. While most people think of adults with Type 2 diabetes, the rate of diagnosis in children as young as 10 years old, has been increasing steadily.

Prediabetes is a term to describe people who have blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but are not high enough to develop signs or symptoms or be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Approximately 1 in 3 people have prediabetes and 84% of the population doesn’t know it! Prediabetes increases one’s risk for strokes, heart disease and developing type 2 diabetes.

What are the symptoms I should watch for?

  • Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes have very similar symptoms:

  • Urinate (pee) a lot, often at night

  • Extreme thirst and hunger

  • Unintended weight loss

  • Have blurry vision

  • Have numb or tingling hands or feet

  • Feel very tired

  • Have very dry skin

  • Have sores that heal slowly

  • nausea, vomiting or stomach pains are common in people with Type 1 diabetes.

In people with Type 1 diabetes, the symptoms often have rapid onset and are very severe. Symptoms of people with Type 2 diabetes often develop over several years and may go unnoticed for long periods of time.

Am I at risk?

Unfortunately, there are no screening tools for the average person with Type 1 diabetes unless you have a family member with Type 1 diabetes. Learn more about this screening available here. To find out if you have risk factors for Prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes, take the Prediabetes Risk Test.

What can I do to prevent or manage Prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes?

  • Eat healthy, balanced meals. For more information, check out ChooseMyPlate.gov

  • Reduce consumption of sugary foods, like desserts, pastries, juices and sodas

  • Exercise regularly

  • Reduce alcohol intake

  • Make sure to see your primary care doctor once a year & complete your annual blood work to check your glucose levels

  • Work with a Registered Dietitian to help you manage your individual lifestyle. Find one here.

Did you know? In California, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, there is no exam or law preventing them from practicing! A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) has a bachelor’s, master’s, a year long practicum and passed board exams!

Be an advocate! There are several laws or bills that supports or funds diabetes research that are presented in the Senate or House of Representatives each year. Join up to be an advocate and sign the petitions available on the ADA or JDRF websites.

  • Amazon Smile Donations: Sign up using your Amazon account - link to either American Diabetes Association or Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchases back to the organization of your choosing

  • Check out similar promotions here.

Donate directly to the cause:

I’d like to learn more, where can I find out more?

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