BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. It is a disease that affects millions of people.
Sarada Jaimungal, an Endocrinologist at the ARH Southern West Virginia Clinic, said diabetes a disease based on the insulin levels in the body.
“Diabetes is a lack of insulin in your body. Insulin is needed to keep your blood glucose levels down, which is your blood sugar levels. It’s also needed to keep your body from using fat as a fuel source,” Jaimungul said.
Diabetes takes more than one form. Jaimungal said people can be diagnosed with one of two types of Diabetes.
“Type 1, these patients have absolutely no insulin in their body, so they need to have insulin from an outside source otherwise they can die within two days. But with Type 2 diabetes, these patients still make some insulin. They make enough so they don’t develop an acid in their body without that insulin, but they don’t make enough insulin to keep that blood sugar level low,” Jaimungul said.
Several different factors can cause this disease. One of these factors is genetics. Another thing people have to watch for is their lifestyle. Jaimungul said things like exercise and proper eating habits can help prevent Type 2 diabetes.
“Things like rice, and even beans, which have a lot of carbohydrates in them, and flour. I do tend to tell my patients to stay away from drinks that have sugars in them, sugar-sweetened beverages. These are regular sodas, juices, sweet tea, all of those things stress your pancreas and are likely to trigger diabetes,” Jaimungal said.
Jaimungal said it is doable to live a long, healthy life living with diabetes as long as people are following proper guidelines.
“Come to your doctor every 3-6 months, have blood tests done every 3-6 months, remember to test your blood glucose levels at least once a day, and you’ll be able to control your diabetes and live a long, productive, healthy life,” Jaimungal said.