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November Is Diabetes Awareness Month

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects how your body turns food into blood sugar to use for energy. According to the CDC, one in three people have prediabetes and more than 37 million Americans (11.3% of the population) have diabetes.

Because blood sugar in the body is not constant, people with diabetes must monitor their blood sugar levels to keep them within a target range.

Knowing the signs of low or high blood sugar may help prevent serious complications.

  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) below 70 mg/dL can be dangerous and needs to be treated immediately. Symptoms of low blood sugar include shakiness, anxiety, confusion, nausea, drowsiness, combativeness, and ultimately seizures and coma. If the person with these symptoms cannot check their blood sugar, assume it is low and give them 15 grams of carbohydrates every 15 minutes until their blood sugar is above 70 mg/dL. Good sources include glucose tablets, 4 ounces of juice or regular soda, 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey, or hard candies, gum drops or jellybeans (check the label to see how many pieces provides 15 grams of carbohydrates).
  • High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) happens when the body has too little insulin or cannot use it properly. If not treated, hyperglycemia can lead to long-term serious health problems. Symptoms of high blood sugar are frequent urination and increased thirst. Exercise can help lower blood sugar, but it is important for a person with diabetes to talk to their doctor to find the safest way to lower blood sugar.

Regular blood sugar monitoring, diet, exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and managing stress are all important to managing diabetes.

People with diabetes should always have a medical ID with them to alert emergency medical personnel in case of an emergency when they can’t speak for themselves. These are usually worn as a bracelet or necklace.

Share the Diabetes Toolkit (ZIP) with your groups. The toolkit contains a brochure, fact sheet, flyer and other resources to help educate employees about diabetes.

Download The Diabetes Toolkit (ZIP)


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