Health & Wellness Blog

Checking for Signs of Diabetes

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Diabetes is a disease in which blood sugar levels are chronically elevated. An estimated 10% of the US population is currently living with diabetes with that number expected to rise dramatically in the next few decades. The CDC estimates that as many as 1 in 3 Americans will be living with diabetes by mid-century. Diabetes is a dangerous disease as it affects not only quality of life, but greatly increases the risk for heart attacks, kidney failure, blindness and stroke.  

November is National Diabetes Month and a perfect time to increase awareness for the prevention, symptoms and management of this disease:  

  • TYPE 1 DIABETES: 5% of diabetes is caused by insulin-deficiency. This is known as Type 1 diabetes (formerly known as juvenile diabetes). This autoimmune disease is triggered by the body’s own immune system attacking the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Type 1 is not preventable and must be treated with injections of insulin. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes are extreme thirst, unexplained weight loss, frequent urination and fatigue. Type 1 commonly occurs in children and young adults, but may occasionally present in adults as well.  
  • TYPE 2 DIABETES: The majority of diabetics are living with type 2 diabetes which is  characterized by insulin resistance. In this form of the disease, the pancreas produces enough insulin but the body is not able to effectively use it due to the cells resistance to the uptake of insulin. Genetics, as well as lifestyle play a significant role in the development of type 2 diabetes which is usually preventable. Steps to prevent and control type 2 diabetes are:
    • Check your A1C: Know your numbers and have a fasting blood sugar done at least 1x per year; more often if you are at high risk.  
    • Physical activity: Aerobic exercise, resistance training and increased movement all contribute significantly to the body’s ability to respond to insulin.  
    • Lose weight through addition. Diets are usually only a temporary fix for weight loss, with most dieters adding the weight back on over time. An effective weight loss strategy focuses on adding in more high quality foods (vegetables, fruit, lean proteins, high-fiber carbohydrates, etc) and crowding out highly processed foods.  
    • Eat more plants: Plant based foods contribute to weight loss, blood sugar control and decreased inflammation.  A diet high in plant based foods has been proven in prevention and even reversal of type 2 diabetes. Legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.) are especially effective in managing weight and improving blood sugar control.
    • Quit smoking. Smoking greatly increases risks for development of type 2 diabetes.  

Exodus 23:25  You shall serve the Lord your God, and he will bless your bread and your water, and I will take sickness away from among you.

by Amy Beyer
Fitness Instructor & Nutrition Coach, Kelly’s Bootcamp 

Posted by Amy Beyer with
Tags: diabetes
in health

The Importance of Handwashing

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Now that we are falling back into our normal routines of school and work, it is especially important to remember what it takes to stay healthy this school year. HANDWASHING

Germs in the form of bacteria and virus’ are everywhere! They live on surfaces; they travel through the air and are transferred by touch. They also can survive on those surfaces for quite some time...

  • MRSA: 7 days-7months
  • Influenza A & B:  24-48 hours (on a hard surface)
  • C Difficile:  5 Months
  • HIV:  Minutes to hours      
  • Norovirus:  12-28 days
  • HPV: (Hepatitis B):  7 Days

 When should we wash our hands?

  • before and after food prep
  • Before eating
  • After using the restroom, assisting someone in the restroom or changing a diaper
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal food, animal waste, cages/environment
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick or treating a cut or wound
  • After touching garbage
  • If your hands are visibly dirty or greasy

We have two options for hand hygiene, soap and water and alcohol based hand sanitizers. The CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water for visibly soiled hands. Here are some tips for proper hand washing:

  • Wet hands (temp of water doesn’t matter)
  • Apply soap
  • Scrub all surfaces of hands for at least 20 seconds with particular attention around nail beds, and under nails. (The Happy Birthday song or singing the ABC’s is a good timer for kids)
  • Rinse and dry hands (paper towels are the most hygienic way to dry hands). Damp hands spread 1,000 times more germs than dry hands)
  • Turn off faucet with paper towel if possible.

Hand Sanitizers:

  • Choose a product that has at least 60% alcohol.
  • Apply a dime size amount of sanitizer to the palm for adults.
  • Rub hands together spreading gel to all surfaces of the hand until they are dry
  • For small children, apply a small amount and rub until it dries. Cleansing wipes are a great choice too! 

Kramer et al(2006) BMC Infect Dis 6:130     
CDC Website
Patrick D.R. Findon Epidemiology & Infection

by Ann Marie Pastro, Member of Arcola Church's Health & Wellness Ministry