National Diabetes Month

What is diabetes?

November is National Diabetes Month

Diabetes is a condition that affects millions of Americans. It prevents them from regulating their blood sugar levels. It can also be difficult to know how to effectively manage your diabetes. Keep reading to learn more about diabetes prevention and how to live with diabetes.

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37.3 million people have diabetes. That is about 1 in every 10 people.*

8.5 million people are undiagnosed with diabetes. That is about 1 in every 5 people.*

96 million people aged 18 years or older have prediabetes. That is more than 1 in 3 people.*

*Sources from the CDC

Prediabetes

Prediabetes is when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but are not quite high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. In the United States, 96 million adults have prediabetes, however, 80% of them are unaware. With prediabetes, your likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke are greatly increased. Fortunately, with healthy lifestyle changes, prediabetes can be reversed.

Prediabetes

Risk Factors

– Have prediabetes
– Overweight
– Generally 45 years or older
– Family history of type 2 diabetes
– Sedentary lifestyle
– Had gestational diabetes

Prediabetes

Symptoms

There are no symptoms of prediabetes. You can have prediabetes for a long time and not even know it. That is until either you get tested or you develop type 2 diabetes. It is important to understand the risk factors and talk to your doctor about prediabetes to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Prediabetes

Diagnosis

A blood test can be used to check fasting blood glucose or A1C to indicate prediabetes. A1C is the average blood glucose level over the last 2-3 months. Fasting blood glucose of 100-125 mg/dL or an A1C of 5.7-6.4% typically indicates prediabetes. Some providers may also perform a glucose tolerance test to confirm diagnosis.

Type 1 Diabetes

Individuals that have type 1 diabetes make up approximately 5-10% of people with diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction, where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that make insulin resulting in no insulin production. This process may take months or years before an individual begins developing symptoms. As a result of no insulin production, individuals with type 1 have to take insulin injections everyday to regulate blood sugar levels.

Type 1

Risk Factors

– Family history of type 1 diabetes
– Younger age
– Genetics
– Environmental factors


Type 1 diabetes most often develops in children, teens, or young adults, however, type 1 can occur at age.

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Type 1

Symptoms

– Nausea, vomiting, stomach pains
– Frequent urination, often at night
– Increased thirst
– increased appetite
– Fatigue
– Dry skin
– Lose weight without trying
– Numbness/tingling in hands or feet

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Type 1

Diagnosis

Similar to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, a fasting blood glucose and A1C blood test are generally performed. A1C measures your average blood glucose level over the past 2 or 3 months. To differentiate type 1 from type 2, your provider may order a test looking for specific antibodies in your blood indicating an autoimmune response or a urine test looking for ketones; these would be present in type 1 diabetes.

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Type 2 Diabetes

The majority of people with diabetes (approximately 90-95%) have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is when your body does not use insulin properly and is unable to maintain blood sugar levels in normal range. This type tends to develop over time and adults are most commonly diagnosed with it, however, it is becoming increasingly more prevalent in teens, children, and younger adults. With healthy lifestyle changes, type 2 diabetes can be delayed or even prevented.

Type 2

Risk Factors

– History of prediabetes
– Overweight
– Generally 45 years or older
– Family history of type 2 diabetes
– Sedentary lifestyle
– History of gestational diabetes

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type 2

Symptoms

– Frequent urination, often at night
– Increased thirst
– Increased appetite
– Fatigue
– Dry skin
– Weight loss without trying
– Slow healing sores
– Numbness/tingling in hands or feet

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type 2

Diagnosis

Similar to prediabetes and type 1 diabetes, a fasting blood glucose and A1C blood test are typically ordered. Generally, a fasting glucose of 126 mg/dL and above and an A1C of 6.5% and above indicate diabetes. Alternative blood tests used for confirming a diabetes diagnosis include glucose tolerance tests and random blood sugar tests.

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Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes develops in pregnant women, without a preexisting diagnosis of diabetes, who have difficulty regulating their blood sugar. Gestational diabetes can cause health problems for both the mother and their baby, such as the mother having an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes after delivery and the baby having low blood sugar at birth. Speak with your doctor about preventing gestational diabetes if pregnant or planning to become pregnant.

Gestational

Risk Factors

– History of gestational diabetes
– Gave birth to a baby who weighed over 9lbs
– Older than 25 years old
– Overweight
– Family history of type 2 diabetes
– History of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

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Gestational

Symptoms

There are usually no symptoms of gestational diabetes or the symptoms are masked by pregnancy. For example:
– Frequent urination, often at night
– increased thirst
– increased appetite
– Fatigue
– Yeast infections

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Gestational

Diagnosis

Your health care provider should test you for gestational diabetes between week 24 and 28 of pregnancy. If you have a higher risk for gestational diabetes, your provider may opt to test you a few weeks earlier. Gestational diabetes is diagnosed through blood tests: Glucose Screening Test and Glucose Tolerance Test.

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What Can You Do?

Living With Diabetes

Get Active!

Be physically active to stay in control.

Maintaining A Healthy Weight

Learn how to get to a healthy weight and stay there.

Proper Nutrition

Find tips, strategies, and ideas for healthy eating.

Education & Support

Learn about diabetes self-management education and support.

Diabetes Care Schedule

Put your health first and schedule it on your calendar.

Prevent Complications

Learn how to prevent or delay diabetes-related health problems.

Managing Sick Days

Tips to help you prepare for when you are sick and how to take care of yourself.

Be Prepared

Be prepared by planning ahead for emergencies.

Resources for GatorCare Members

Note: Some resources below are for GatorCare members only while others are open to all. Not sure if you’re a GatorCare member? Check here.

gatorcare members only

Free Diabetes Test Strip Program

GatorCare members, including covered spouses and dependents, diagnosed with type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes may be eligible to receive Contour® test strips AT NO COST. Complete the application to become approved for free test strips!

free

gatorcare members only

Free Contour® Next Glucose Meter

All GatorCare members with a diagnosis of type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes may be eligible to redeem a free glucose meter if using or switching to Contour® Next test strips. Learn how you can get a FREE Contour® Next Meter delivered to your home!

free

gatorcare members only

Free Nutrition Counseling

Speak to a Registered Dietitian at no cost, via Zoom or in-person (Jacksonville) to help with nutrition and related health topics like healthy eating, meal planning, weight management, food allergies, nutrition for chronic health conditions and more.

krupa in the kitchen

Gatorcare & Florida blue members

Healthy Addition Prenatal Program

Expecting mothers covered under any Florida Blue health plan are eligible for the Healthy Addition program. This program provides a pregnancy risk screening, monitoring, emotional support, and education for the mother as well as serving as a resource for questions and concerns.

baby

Assessment

Prediabetes Risk Assessment Screening

According to the CDC, prediabetes affects nearly 96 million people, yet 80% of those people don’t know they even have it. Are you one of the 80%? Take a short Prediabetes Risk Assessment Screening to find out your risk today and what you can do to lower your risk to prevent type 2 diabetes.

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Resource

CDC’s Living with Diabetes

The CDC provides excellent information regarding living with diabetes, including videos, podcasts, and toolkits on eating well, managing your blood sugar, preventing complications, and promoting your emotional well-being.

health living with diabetes infographic from CDC

General Program

Living with Type 2 Diabetes

Join the American Diabetes Association’s FREE Living with Type 2 Diabetes Program to receive the support you need to help get your diabetes on track. You’ll receive six free e-booklets on the main topics discussed. Plus, you can attend the Ask the Experts Q&A series covering topics such as foot care, preventing and treating eye complications, meal prep, and health insurance planning.

American Diabetes Association logo with three books, red background

Article

Your Game Plan to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

The National Institute of Health has outlined steps to create your personal game plan to tackle diabetes prevention. This article will walk you through the “need-to-know” information to set you up for self-directed success.

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on-Demand Program

Healthy Lifestyle Program

The Healthy Lifestyle Program is series of six, 45-minute sessions that will walk you through the fundamentals of creating a healthier, balanced lifestyle. This six-week program is designed for you to access on demand to meet your needs. Discover the latest physical activity and nutrition recommendations, set goals, and practice techniques learned in real-time.

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