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November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

Hi, Fellow Community Members!

If you or someone you care for has diabetes, then you know how scary this disease can be. There’s a diabetes epidemic in the U.S. right now, particularly for Type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, the rise in diabetes coincides with the obesity epidemic in the U.S. Here are just a few of the staggering statistics and some interesting facts about diabetes:

  • It’s estimated that 30.3 million American adults, or 9.4% of the adult population, has diabetes. However, nearly 24% of those who have diabetes don’t even know it. That’s because diabetes sometimes has no symptoms until it becomes severe.
  • There’s an even greater number of Americans with prediabetes. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases reports that 84.1 million American adults has prediabetes. Put in simpler terms, that’s 1 in 3 American adults! Prediabetes is not an actual disease, but it is a red flag that it’s time to make changes to your diet, physical activity, or lifestyle to avoid developing Type 2 diabetes.
  • There are two kinds of diabetes. Type 1 is when your body can’t produce insulin. Type 1 diabetes happens suddenly, and researchers aren’t entirely sure what causes it. Type 2 develops over time. There is a genetic component, but it’s also often tied to being overweight or obese, living a sedentary lifestyle, and eating poorly. Type 2 diabetes is more common than Type 1 diabetes.
  • There are more children and teens developing Type 2 diabetes.
  • Complications from uncontrolled diabetes can be severe and can include kidney problems, heart disease, vision problems, amputations, and more.

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, so now is the perfect time to make some changes if you suspect you may have prediabetes or diabetes. Here’s how to start.

  1. Know your risk. The American Diabetes Association has an easy risk calculator. Complete it and discuss the results with your health care provider.
  2. Be aware of the symptoms of diabetes. Although diabetes sometimes has no symptoms, there are subtle signs you can watch for. They include increased thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, and feeling more tired than usual. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, talk to your health care provider. He or she may want you to complete lab work to test your blood sugar. This could include your glucose or your hemoglobin A1C, which is a measure of your blood sugar from the previous two to three months.
  3. Lose weight, if necessary. In fact, in the federal Diabetes Prevention Program study, the risk for prediabetes was lowered even when participants lost just 5% to 7% of their body weight.
  4. Make small, healthy changes. Think about your routine and where you can make things a little healthier. Small changes make a difference. Take a short brisk walk after lunch and dinner or swap your afternoon snack from chips to an apple, for example.
  5. If you find out you have diabetes, don’t give up hope. Although having diabetes is something you should take seriously, it’s by no means a death sentence. If you take medication as directed, go for regular healthy checks, eat healthier, and commit to regular physical activity, you can live a long, active life with diabetes.

Yours truly,

Jonathan Marsh

Thanks for reading our blog. At Home Helpers of Bradenton, we look to not only make life easier but to also make a difference in our clients’ lives. It is truly an honor to have an opportunity to work with members of our community and we take the trust bestowed to us very seriously.

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