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Family Nutrition & Health

Some Details on Diabetes

Find out if you are you at risk, and discover some tricks for staying in control at school.

American Diabetes Association Alert Day®
is a one-day “wake-up call” designed to increase awareness of this treatable disease. Early detection and treatment of diabetic symptoms can decrease your chances of developing complications from the disease, and hold more debilitating symptoms at bay.
Alert Day is held on the fourth Tuesday of every March; this year it’s Tuesday, March 26. On Alert Day, the ADA asks Americans to take the Diabetes Risk Test with simple questions about:
•   Weight
•   Age
•   Family history

If you score high on the test, see your doctor right away
The Diabetes Risk Test is available year-round, so don’t worry if you miss taking it on March 26! The important thing is to take it and keep tabs on your health.

Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes
There are 3 types of diabetes, and a condition called “pre-diabetes.” They all share a main concern: blood sugar levels.

Type 1 diabetes
Usually diagnosed in children and young adults
Previously known as juvenile diabetes
In Type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin to allow sugar to be used for energy

Type 2 diabetes
Most common form of diabetes
More common in adults as well as African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders
Either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin in Type 2 cases

Gestational Diabetes
During pregnancy – usually around the 24th week – many women develop gestational diabetes and hyperglycemia
•   Hyperglycemia is caused when high levels of sugars build up in the blood
•   Pregnancy hormones can block the body’s use of sugars for energy

Blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes
You can prevent Type 2 diabetes during this phase by eating healthy, being physically active, and managing your weight.

Youths: Get an A with a Solid D Plan
Children and teens with Type 1 diabetes can live full active lives by paying close attention to their condition
If you’re an insulin-dependent diabetic, always have your D-supplies with you and wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace

Manage your insulin levels 24/7 – and especially:
•   At school  
•   On field trips
•   During extra-curricular activities
•   Before tests and before/after physical activities

Get to know your school health professionals and let them know about your condition 
•   Be sure key adults at school know how to monitor diabetic blood glucose levels

Develop a D-Team of adults and friends  
•   Look for other kids who have diabetes and let them know you want to
    support each other
•   Stick with friends who are also focused on being healthy
•   Avoid alcohol, cigarettes or drugs; these substances can have an
     immediate effect on your blood glucose (BG) levels
•   Check your BG more often when you get the flu or a cold. These
     illnesses can make your blood glucose levels go crazy
•   Eat healthy meals and snacks
•   Plan for parties
•   Understand the adjustments you may need to make in your insulin
    doses for special occasions
•   Add some extra exercise to your day to help keep your blood glucose down
•   Take a healthy snack with you to share with everyone

Need more information? Check the American Diabetes Association’s Safe at School Campaign

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