November is diabetes awareness month — did you know there are over 30 million people in the United states that have diabetes? Of those suffering with diabetes, 1 in 4 haven’t even been diagnosed! Diabetes that has been left untreated is one of the leading causes of disabilities in the U.S, including blindness, nerve damage, kidney problems and more! 

There are 3 types of diabetes: 

Type 1 Diabetes: this is the type of diabetes that occurs when your body cannot produce insulin for itself. Insulin is a hormone that is important because it allows sugar into the cells so they can create energy. People who suffer from type 1 diabetes, can not create their own insulin so it must be supplemented each day.

Type 2 Diabetes: Most people diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S suffer from type 2 diabetes — 9 out of 10 diabetes diagnoses will be type 2. In type 2 diabetics, their bodies can produce insulin, but they don’t use it well and have issues with maintaining proper blood sugar levels. 

Gestational Diabetes: this type of diabetes occurs during pregnancy in women. Gestational diabetes can be serious and put the baby and mother at risk. A mother who suffers from gestational diabetes can be an indicator of a child who will suffer from type 2 diabetes later in life. Your OBGYN or women’s health specialist will check you if you’re pregnant for gestational diabetes so it does not go untreated during pregnancy. 

Risk Factors of Diabetes: 

  • Obesity
  • Older than 45 years of age
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Not getting enough exercise 
  • Having gestational diabetes or giving birth to babies over 9 pounds.
  • If you have pre-diabetes (this is blood sugar levels that are above the normal levels but not high enough to get a diabetes diagnosis – yet)

Ways to Prevent Pre- Diabetes: 

  • Eat Healthy
  • Stay Active at least 3 times a week
  • Watching your blood sugar
  • Monitoring your feet, skin, and eyes, for symptoms of progressed diabetes
  • Manage your stress levels 

There are many programs across Middle Tennessee and the U.S that can help you and your family learn more about diabetes like the National Diabetes Education Program. Speaking to your doctor or health care provider is the best place to start — they will be able to provide you with a plan to control your symptoms and to keep your body healthy. 

If you or your family member do not have a doctor or would like one that specializes in diabetes care check out our directory on We would love to care for you and your loved ones.