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Living with diabetes: Know the facts

As of 2011, 25.8 million children and adults in the United States had diabetes. In addition, as estimated 79 million people were pre-diabetic. As of 2013, $245 billion dollars were spent with regards to diabetic care in the United States (in 2012). Medical costs related to the diabetic population are approximately 2.3 times higher than those of a non-diabetic population. Early detection and treatment of diabetes/pre-diabetes will lower the risk of complications, slow the progression of the disease, and help maintain quality of life. Making small changes in your diet and activity can positively impact your weight, and overall health. Such changes include: choose healthy foods, make healthy meals, increase your activity ( exercise) to 30 minutes a day ( at least 5 days a week). In addition, maintaining a healthy weight, taking medications as prescribed, and getting adequate sleep will all improve your overall health and well-being. Knowledge is power. The first step to reducing your overall risk of diabetes is to get checked for the disease. Many people are asymptomatic with regards to diabetes, especially in the early stages. Having a blood test done will ensure early and appropriate treatment, lowering the risk of long term complications. The test Hemoglobin A1C ( or A1C) is a blood test done, to measure your average blood glucose level over the past 2-3 months. It is a random blood test that does not require pre-test fasting. A normal result is less than 5.7%; and diabetes is confirmed with results greater than 6.5%. Thus, blood levels between 5.7% and 6.4% are considered pre-diabetic. For more information on the diagnosis, treatment, research and practice related to diabetes, please visit the American Diabetes Association website @