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November is Diabetes Education Month

By: Marvel Blazek, ARNP

When a person has diabetes, the food he or she eats cannot be used for energy because
the body is not making enough of the hormone, insulin, OR the insulin the person has is
not working the way it should. Insulin is made in the pancreas, an organ that lies behind
the stomach.

Most food is broken down into a form of sugar called glucose. Sugar is the body’s main
source of energy. As sugar enters the bloodstream, the amount of sugar in the blood
rises. Normally the body reacts to the rise in blood sugar by signaling the pancreas to
send insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin helps sugar leave the bloodstream and enter
the cells. To understand how insulin works, think of a cell as a house with many locked
doors. Insulin is the key that unlocks the doors and lets sugar leave the bloodstream and
enter the cells.

When a person has diabetes, the pancreas makes [ ... ]

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Precautions to Protect Yourself in Extreme Heat

As we move into what are typically the hottest months of the year in Iowa, please remember to take measures to prevent heat stress.
Anyone can suffer from heat stress, including young and healthy individuals if they are very active during hot weather or the heat index is very high; however, the following people are at greatest risk:
• Individuals age 65 or older
• Infants and young children
• Overweight individuals
• People who are performing manual labor or exercising outdoors
• People who are physically ill, especially those with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as those for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation

Remember to keep cool and use common sense when temperatures and humidity are high by:
• Keeping in the shade or air conditioned areas as much as possible
• Increasing fluid intake, regardless of their activity level
• If experiencing a lot of sweating, replacing salt and minerals by eating foods like bananas and salty crackers, or [ ... ]

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