Diabetes is a disease that occurs in people when the glucose (sugar) in their blood is too high and insulin is not created enough or at all to manage their sugar levels. Insulin is a hormone that the pancreas creates to help glucose from food be converted into energy.  According to the National Institute of Diabetes, 30.3 million Americans have diabetes and 1 in 4 adults over the age of 65 have the disease. It is important for everyone to be educated about diabetes, especially because it is very common disease and you could be around someone who is having a diabetic attack.

In honor of National Diabetes Awareness Month (observed in November), here is some information on the different kinds of diabetes and how to take care of someone who has diabetes.

Type – 1

Type – 1 diabetes is where the immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas that creates insulin. People with Type – 1 diabetes have to take insulin every single day to stay alive. Type – 1 usually occurs in children and young adults.

Type – 2

Type – 2 diabetes is where the body does not either react well or produce enough insulin.  Type – 2 is the most common form of diabetes and usually develops in middle-aged adults.

Other types

There are also less common forms of diabetes such as monogenic (an inherited form of diabetes), cystic fibrosis related diabetes, and gestational diabetes, which develops in some women when they are pregnant.

Saving someone who is having a diabetic attack

Diabetics typically know how to prevent themselves from having a diabetic attack, but sometimes they end up developing Hypoglycemia or Hyperglycemia and it is important to know how to help them if that occurs. Hypoglycemia is when the diabetic’s blood sugar becomes too low, and Hyperglycemia is when the diabetics blood sugar becomes too high. Below are the steps you should take if you witness someone having one of these diabetic attacks.

Steps to help someone who has become Hypoglycemic

  1. Sit the person down (especially if they are feeling faint).
  2. Give the person a sugary drink such as fruit juice or some food that contains a high amount of sugar.
  3. Check in on the person to see if they are feeling better (if they are not call 911).
  4. See if they have their glucose testing kit and medication so they can measure their insulin levels.

Steps to help someone who have become Hyperglycemic

  1. Call 911 and clear the person’s airway.
  2. Monitor the person and make sure that they are breathing.
  3. Continue to check on the person until medical assistant has arrived.

National Diabetes Awareness Month allows us to recognize how common the disease is and to be more aware of people with the illness. Make sure to take care and be mindful of those around you with diabetes.

If you suffer from diabetes, or diabetes runs in your family – a healthy diet and an active lifestyle are very important. River North Gym can help with both of these things. Our certified Personal Trainers can assist you with staying on track with both nutrition and fitness — and a healthy, happy you!