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Diabetes: A global epidemic that we CAN fix

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According to the Centers for Disease Control , a recently released report on Diabetes, states there are at least 29 million people living in the U.S. with diabetes; 28% of these patients are undiagnosed. In a study done from 2009 to 2012, 37% of adults in the U.S. were considered pre-diabetic based on fasting glucose and A1C levels. This equates to 86 million Americans who will become diabetic if something doesn't change.

These estimates, according to Dr. Ann Albright, director of the CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation, were further elaborated on in a statement, "Diabetes is costly in both human and economic terms. If we do nothing, and the numbers continue to rise, 1 in 5 people will have diabetes by the year 2025, and possibly 1 in 3 by 2050, if we elect to do nothing to stop the progression of this disease.”

Diabetes, both uncontrolled and/or undiagnosed, can lead to a complex set of diseases. Often, these diseases come with life threatening complications. Cardiovascular disease ( heart disease, and stroke) as well as kidney damage, blindness and nerve damage can be attributed to improperly cared for diabetes.

Despite these grim statistics, there is much a person can do to reduce their risk of prediabetes/diabetes. Proper nutrition, weight loss, increased activity, stress reduction, and smoking cessation are all simple ways to reduce personal risk. Medication compliance and proper monitoring of diabetes can also reduce the risk of complications. Diabetes is a chronic disease, yet controllable situation.

For more information on ways to reduce your personal risk for diabetes, check out your local chapter of the American Diabetes Association. Good health is within reach.

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