Diabetes Awareness Month

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Diabetes Awareness is in November and diabetes has become a tremendous epidemic nationwide.  It is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, and it is estimated that 7 million people in the U.S. are unaware they have it.  But there is good news that diabetes can be managed and even prevented with a few lifestyle changes.

Persons with diabetes are unable to make or properly use insulin.  There are certain factors place individuals at a higher risk for developing the most common form, Type 2 diabetes.

Who is at Risk?

The persons who are at risk include older age, obesity, a family history of diabetes, history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose metabolism, physical inactivity and race or ethnicity. African-Americans, Hispanic/Latino-Americans, American Indians and some Asian-Americans and Native-Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders are at particularly high risk for Type 2 diabetes and its complications.

What Are Symptoms of Diabetes?

Many people who are unaware they are living with diabetes may feel their symptoms are harmless or may not even have symptoms, and thus diabetes goes undiagnosed. If you have any of the common symptoms of diabetes — such as extreme fatigue, unusual thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, unusual weight loss or frequent infections or cuts and bruises that heal slowly go to your a health care physician for an immediate checkup.

How can I Prevent or Manage Diabetes?

Research has shown that weight loss through moderate diet changes and increased physical activity play a large role in preventing or delaying diabetes and its complications, which include heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage and other health problems. A registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) is one of your best resources for developing a plan to make these lifestyle changes.  Please click on www.livinghealthy1.org for further information .

If you like to surf the web it is important to get the correct reputable information when researching about diabetes.  Here are some of my favorite diabetes websites:

1. American Diabetes Association – www.diabetes.org

2. Diabetes at Work – www.diabetesatwork.org

3. Children with Diabetes – www.childrenwithdiabetes.org

4.  Dlife – www.dlife.com

5.   National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) – http://www2.niddk.nih.gov/

6.   National Diabetes Education Program – http://ndep.nih.gov/

It is important to get check for diabetes today in order to prevent any complications.  For more information please go on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website at:  http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6813

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