Diabetes Awareness Month - Quality of Care
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Diabetes Awareness Month

Patient testing her blood glucose

Quality of care for Veteran’s includes raising awareness around important health topics. By highlighting some of the national health awareness campaigns each month, Veterans can get ideas, information, and resources on a variety of health matters.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and we want to raise you and your loved one’s awareness on this serious condition.  Did you know that Veterans are twice as likely to have diabetes, than the general population? Approximately 25% of VA patients have diabetes.

Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the body cannot produce or properly use insulin. Normally, insulin brings sugar out of the bloodstream and into cells. If the body cannot make insulin or does not respond to it, the sugar stays in the bloodstream. As a result of high blood sugar levels, damage eventually occurs to blood vessels and organs. The organs most commonly affected are the eyes, kidneys and feet.

Common symptoms include:

  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Feeling very hungry
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts or bruises that are slow in healing
  • Weight loss
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands or feet

Things to prevent diabetes:

  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco in any form.
  • Eat a healthy diet including plenty of vegetables, as well as fruits in moderation. Eat foods that are low in animal fat. Make most or all of your breads and cereals whole grain products. Limit your intake of sweet foods and drinks. Avoid overeating. Limit or avoid alcoholic beverages and make water your beverage of choice.
  • Get plenty of exercise. You should do at least 150 minutes each week of moderate–intensity physical activity.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Eating a healthy diet and getting lots of physical activity are the keys to doing this. Losing extra weight is especially helpful.
  • Take steps to reduce your stress.

If you or a loved one experiences any of the above symptoms talk to your health care provider to rule out diabetes. If you are diagnosed with diabetes there is medication available to help manage the disease. By taking the proper care you and your loved ones can live healthy lives.

Below are resources that can help you and your family learn more about diabetes.

Resources – (click links below to open in new tab)

Diabetes – Veterans Health Library

VA’s Diabetes Fact Sheet  VA

Eat Wisely: With a Focus on Diabetes – VA Healthy Living

MOVE! – VA’s Weight Management Program