November is American Diabetes Month. Now is the time to raise awareness of this serious chronic medical condition. Nearly 26 million people, in the United States alone, have diabetes. An additional 79 million people are estimated to have pre-diabetes. Untreated/undiagnosed pre-diabetes can cause serious medical conditions, and contribute to an increased risk for stroke, heart disease, atraumatic amputations and blindness.
Basic lifestyle changes in diet and activity can have a positive impact on reducing the risk of diabetes, or controlling/maintaining a diagnosis of diabetes. Maintaining proper body weight, eating a well-balanced diet that is calorie controlled and nutrient rich, and increasing activity/exercise are all simple ways to improve overall health and reduce the risk of health related compilations.
Knowledge of your personal risk factors for developing diabetes is paramount. Although diabetes can occur in anyone, at any age, there are some known risk factors. If you have any of these risk factors, you are encouraged to open dialogue with your health care provider and get tested for diabetes. The following are all considered risk factors for diabetes:
- Age over 45
- Have a family member with diabetes
- Had diabetes during pregnancy ( also known as gestational diabetes)
- Had a baby with a birth weight greater than 9 pounds
- Have high cholesterol and/or high blood pressure
- Exercise less than 3 times a week
For more information on diabetes, healthy food choices, diet and activity information and more, please check out the American Diabetes Association for the most up to date information on the care and treatment of diabetes.