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Diabetes Awareness Day - November 14

Diabetes is so much more than high blood sugar. It is a leading contributor to cardiovascular death, but often goes undetected or undertreated.

With our standard American diet (SAD) and sedentary lifestyle, diabetes continues to affect millions, leading to costly medical treatments for cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, neuropathy, oral health complications, decreased vision and hearing, and declined mental health. People with diabetes are also 3x more likely to suffer from genitourinary problems such as recurrent urinary tract infections or vaginal yeast infections, as well as and sexual dysfunction including erectile dysfunction or decreased libido. Intercourse may even be painful due to nerve damage, and decreased circulation to the genitals. Many patients are medicated for these conditions while their diabetes remains uncontrolled.

At Options Wellness, we know that early lifestyle change for prevention, detection, and consistent compliance with therapy is the most effective way to manage this disease.

Women with diabetes are four times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, and are at higher risk of complications and poorer outcomes following heart attacks and strokes. Women of color are more likely to develop diabetes than white women, and even more likely to go undetected or undertreated due to disparities in access to care. We often treat women for hormonal imbalances, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), infertility, decreased libido, anorgasmia, as well as menopausal symptoms including vaginal dryness, hot flashes, hair and skin changes, insomnia, and irritability. These hormonal changes can be even more intense in women with diabetes. Menopausal symptoms also make diabetes management more difficult, as blood sugars fluctuate more with the decrease of estrogen, leading to weight gain which can increased blood sugars further, as well as night sweats/insomnia, which also can raise blood sugars. It can be a vicious cycle.

We want to encourage you to take control of your health, and get involved with your medical decision making. The providers at Options Wellness want to educate you on lifestyle changes, and take a holistic approach to the management of all disease, including diabetes. Medication compliance is critical, but should be complementary, not a replacement, for a healthy nutritional pattern and regular exercise regimen. While we specialize in women's health, we see and treat all genders and sexual identities. We welcome you to come see us if you are experiencing any of the symptoms discussed here, or if you would like to have a general wellness exam and diabetes screening.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

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