November is National Diabetes Awareness Month! According to the American Diabetes Association, http://www.diabetes.org, almost 30 million adults and children in the U.S. are diabetic. Another 86 million are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.
Are you at risk? The risk factors, according to the Center for Disease Control, (http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/prevention.html), include:
- Overweight or obese.
- Have a parent or sibling with diabetes.
- African American, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic American/Latino heritage.
- Have had gestational diabetes or gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds.
- Have high blood pressure measuring 140/90 or higher.
- Physically inactive.
What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?
The symptoms can be so mild that you might not even notice them. Many people do not know they are diabetic until they have other health issues.
- increased thirst
- increased hunger
- increased urination
- unexplained weight loss
- blurred vision
- numbness or tingling in the feet or hands
- sores that do not heal
Blood tests can diagnose diabetes. A major study, the Diabetes Prevention Program, showed that weight loss and increased physical activity, can reduce the chance of developing diabetes. Read more at: http://www.niddk.nih.gov/
Diabetes can be managed. For many it can be controlled through diet and exercise. Medication may be needed. Education is the key. Many extension offices in Ohio, and other states, offer a Dining with Diabetes education and cooking demonstration series to help those who are diabetic or at risk for the disease. The National Diabetes Education Program, http://ndep.nih.gov, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, http://www.niddk.nih.gov, as well as the other links listed here have very helpful information.
Know your risks and talk to your doctor. You are in charge!