According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. As November is Diabetes Awareness Month — and the start of the holiday season — it’s important to raise awareness of this growing disease and encourage all to eat healthy.
Recent studies have found that 86 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Before developing type 2 diabetes, prediabetes is usually common. Blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. This condition puts individuals at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. For some individuals with prediabetes, early treatment can return blood glucose levels to normal range.
According to the ADA, research shows that prediabetes patients can lower the risk for type 2 diabetes by losing 7 percent of body weight and exercising moderately; such as brisk walking, 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Patients who lose just 10 to 15 pounds can lower their risk by 58 percent.
Common symptoms of diabetes include urinating often, feeling thirsty or hungry even while eating or drinking, extreme fatigue and tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands or feet. Early detection and treatment can help decrease the risk of developing certain complications.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition characterized by high blood glucose levels caused by either a lack of insulin or the body’s inability to use insulin efficiently. Type 2 diabetes develops most often in middle-aged and older adults but can appear in young people. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults; previously known as juvenile diabetes. Learn more about type 1 diabetes.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Doctors will perform blood tests to diagnose diabetes. The A1C, Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG), and Oral Glucose Tolerance (OGTT) tests are used to determine blood glucose levels. While there is no cure for diabetes, it can be managed. Balancing food with exercise and medicine — if prescribed — will help keep blood glucose levels in the healthy range.
Please visit the American Diabetes Association’s website to learn more and download the full toolkit.
Source: American Diabetes Association
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