November is American Diabetes Month: Learn the Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes

Symptoms Of DiabetesDid you know that 1 in 11 Americans today has diabetes? Despite its prevalence, diabetes is an invisible disease. It affects men and women, people young and old, and people of all races, shapes and sizes. Often there are no outward signs from the 29 million Americans who fight this chronic illness every day. That’s why there is a critical need to foster awareness and education while breaking down stereotypes, myths and misunderstandings about this growing public health crisis that affects so many.

This is exactly why the American Diabetes Association marks each November as American Diabetes Month: to bring extra attention to the disease and the tens of millions of people affected by it.

American Diabetes Month 2016: This is Diabetes

This year, the organization will showcase real-life stories of friends, families and neighbors managing the day-to-day triumphs and challenges of diabetes. The 2016 campaign is inviting us to use #ThisIsDiabetes to share personal stories and start a dialogue about what it means to live with diabetes.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is more than the medications and devices used to manage it. For many, diabetes dictates how they organize their day, what they eat at every meal, how they choose to be physically active and how they spend their money. People with diabetes can have health care costs that are 2.3 times higher than someone without diabetes, as type 1 and type 2 require very specific forms of treatment.

  • Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and there is no known way to prevent it. Approximately 5 percent of people with diabetes have type 1, which means their body does not produce any insulin. Insulin is critical for the body to transport glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream into cells for energy. People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin every day to live.
  • Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for 90 to 95 percent of cases in the United States, and is caused when the body does not produce or use insulin properly. Risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes include being overweight, having a family history of diabetes and having diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes). Some people with type 2 diabetes can control their blood glucose (sugar) with healthy eating and being active; others may require oral medications or insulin, especially as the disease progresses. Type 2 diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, as well as older adults.
  • Some women develop gestational diabetes, high blood glucose (sugar) levels during pregnancy, which requires treatment to protect the health of the mother and the baby. Gestational diabetes affects approximately 9.2 percent of pregnant women.

Symptoms of Diabetes

Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes: Know if You’re at Risk

If you experience any of these symptoms, please consult with one of our physicians for a diabetes screening. Early detection and proper treatment is key in preventing the symptoms of diabetes from manifesting into more aggressive medical complications.

Common Symptoms of Diabetes

  • Weight loss (even with a proper diet)
  • Incessant thirst
  • Blurry vision
  • Frequent urination
  • Numbness in hands or feet
  • Nerve pain

If you think you are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes or that you may have prediabetes, you should know that diabetes prevention is proven, possible, and powerful. For example, studies show that people at high risk for diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by losing 5 to 7 percent of their weight.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases states there are two keys to success: getting at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five days a week as well as eating a variety of low-fat foods and reduce the number of calories eaten in a day.

Experiencing Symptoms of Diabetes?

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the above symptoms of diabetes and you have reason to suspect you might be ill, please come see us at either of our medical offices in Middletown, NJ or Berkeley Heights, NJ. We are open 7 days a week, including holidays, and offer walk-in immediate urgent care treatment. Contact us today with any questions.

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Pediatric Care in Berkeley Heights Recognizes National Childhood Obesity Month

About 1 of every 3 children in the United States is obesity or overweight which is putting kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. The good news, however, is that childhood obesity can be prevented with lifestyle changes. In honor of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, eMedical Pediatric Care in Berkeley Heights and Middletown, NJ encourages your family to make healthy changes together and start the school year off on the right foot.

September is National Childhood Obesity Month

Taking simple steps (literally) as a family can help your child stay at a healthy weight. Here are a few tips to get started:

  • Get outside and get active – make fitness fun. Get Your Kids Active | Pediatric Care in Berkeley HeightsWalk around the neighborhood, go for a bike ride, simply play at the park! Create environments that support exercise and encourage children to try new sports until they find one that they enjoy. The more they love the activity, the more they’ll want to participate.
  • Limit screen time (time spent on the computer, watching TV, playing video games) to less than two hours a day; for children under the age of 2, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time at all. Since studies consistently show that the more screen time children have, the more likely they are to gain excess weight, consider setting up an “allowance” for screen time to help implement these limits.
  • Prioritize breakfast. Choose healthy options to ‘break the fast’ in the morning, jump start metabolism levels and get energy to do more during the day.
  • Make healthy meals at home. Healthy Eating for Kids| Pediatric Care in Berkeley HeightsEncourage your children to eat more vegetables, fruits and high-fiber foods. Get creative in your presentation so even the pickiest eater will enjoy snack time!
  • Watch out for portion distortion. Portion sizes are much bigger than they used to be, and if a child is eating an adult-sized (super) serving, those extra calories can contribute to obesity.
  • Avoid added sugars. Currently, the average child in the U.S. gets 50 to 75 grams of added sugar per day, or about two to three times the recommended amount. Mary Poppins may need to find a new way to make the medicine go down now that new recommendations from the American Heart Association say children should consume no more than six teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugars daily.
  • Establish a regular bedtime routine ensuring children get adequate sleep every night. Sleep is especially important for children as it directly impacts mental and physical development. Additionally, much research has revealed a strong connection between inadequate sleep and being overweight, making it just as important as exercise and nutrition. Experts from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommend 11-14 hours for toddlers (1-2 years), 10-13 hours for preschoolers (3-5 years), 9-11 hours for school-aged children (6-13), and 8-10 hours for teenagers (14-17 years) to help ward off risks of obesity, diabetes, illnesses and even cancer.

September is Also Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

A child is diagnosed with cancer every three and a half minutes. Despite this unsettling statistic, thankfully childhood cancers are relatively rare, making up less than 1% of all cancer diagnosis each year. But the rarity of childhood cancers makes them generally less known than adult cancers. And unlike adult cancers, there are no lifestyle-related risk factors that are known to influence a child’s risk of getting cancer.

Go Gold this September during Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month to honor and remember children and families affected by these rare diseases and help give kids with cancer better outcomes by supporting research.

eMedical Pediatric Care in Berkeley Heights and Middletown, NJ

At eMedical Pediatric Care in Berkeley Heights and Middletown, NJ, we not only treat a wide array of injuries but also administer school physicals keeping kids healthy all year long. Learn more about our services and how we can treat you and your family by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707.

Study Finds That Coffee Can Lower Your Risk of Diabetes

If you love coffee and would like to drink more of it, there is some good news from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). Researchers claim in a 2014 study that drinking more coffee can actually lower your risk of diabetes.

The study looked at 20 years of health and diet data for more than 100,000 people (a pretty convincing sample size) to determine if consuming caffeinated coffee and green tea could indeed affect type 2 diabetes. The researchers discovered that drinking an extra cup of coffee or two per day reduced a person’s chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 11 percent. Conversely, people who reduced their caffeine habits by drinking eight ounces less per day saw a 17-percent rise in type 2 diabetes. The stark difference between these two groups of people demonstrates pretty solid evidence that coffee consumption does indeed affect the risk of type 2 diabetes. Also, people who drink lots of coffee (24 ounces or more), according to the study, were 37 percent less likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes than their non-coffee-drinking counterparts.

Unfortunately for you tea or decaf coffee drinkers, the study didn’t show any conclusive evidence that an increase in the consumption of these drinks would decrease your chances of developing the disease. But, other studies have shown that both of these beverages can help prevent the disease.

“Our findings confirm those of previous studies that showed that higher coffee consumption was associated with lower type 2 diabetes risk,” said Shilpa Bhupathiraju, lead author and research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at HSPH. “Most importantly, they provide new evidence that changes in coffee consumption habit can affect type 2 diabetes risk in a relatively short period of time.”

If you are looking for a magic number for your daily coffee intake, Bhupathiraju suggests somewhere between 3 to 5 cups per day.

Contact eMedical Urgent Care if you have questions about your health. At eMedical, we are ready to quickly and efficiently treat unscheduled walk-in patients. Offices are located in Berkeley Heights, NJ and Middletown, NJ and are open 7 days a week.