November is Diabetes Awareness Month and November 14th is World Diabetes Day. With a staggering 1 in 3 Canadians living with diabetes or pre-diabetes, and approximately 1.5 million Canadians undiagnosed, raising awareness and increasing overall knowledge of diabetes to better spot the signs has become extremely important.
Today’s blog hopes to aid in that quest.
Could you be one of the undiagnosed millions who have diabetes but don’t know it? Some signs of diabetes may include blurred vision, changes in your weight, unusual thirst, extreme fatigue, and tingling or numbness in the extremities.
Some of the risk factors for diabetes include:
having a family member with diabetes
having health complications that are associated with diabetes
having high blood pressure
having high cholesterol or other fats in the blood
being overweight, especially if that weight is mostly carried around the stomach area
If you think you might be at risk for developing diabetes, talk to your doctor right away.
While diabetes does often necessitate some lifestyle alterations, many people with diabetes live long and healthy lives with proper management. According to Diabetes Canada, these are the main elements of proper diabetes management:
Education – learn about your condition so you can manage it properly
Physical activity – it helps lower blood glucose levels, promotes weight loss, reduces stress and enhances overall fitness
Diet - watch what, how much and when you eat to regulate blood glucose levels
Weight – maintain a healthy weight is critical in managing diabetes, especially Type 2
Medicine – those with Type 1 diabetes always take insulin. Type 2 can often be managed without medication through physical activity and meal planning
Stress – learning to reduce it in your daily life can help to manage diabetes
Blood pressure – maintaining blood pressure levels at or below 130/80. Adjust diet, physical activity and medicine appropriately and under medical guidance
Diet and activity are the most essential tools to control diabetes. For some, they believe this means an end to indulging in their sweet tooth. But it couldn’t be further from the tooth… I mean truth!
It’s a common myth that sugary foods cause diabetes. Yes, sweets can and do affect your blood sugar but they alone do not cause diabetes. It’s the carbohydrates that are responsible for raising your blood sugar levels, so when you have diabetes, you must carefully monitor your carbohydrate intake.
Like everything in life, it’s all about moderation. People living with diabetes can enjoy sugary foods but they should do so in moderation, knowing how it’s going to impact their blood sugar.
If you are living with diabetes, but still have that craving for a sweet now and then, Kerr’s has a full line of No Sugar Added, light candies. Perfect for those looking for a treat with reduced sugary carbohydrates. We have light versions of many of our favourite products, find your favourite: http://www.kerrs.com/light-no-sugar-added.