June: Diabetes Awareness
Diabetes is one of America’s most prevalent health issues. Affecting approximately 11.5% of the adult U.S. population, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it is the leading reason for kidney failure and new cases of blindness. It is also a major cause of heart disease and stroke, and the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. Not just of concern for adults, a 2009 study indicated that 1 in 3 children born in the year 2000 or later would develop diabetes. Though Type 1 diabetes is not preventable, the other two common types, Type 2 diabetes and Gestational diabetes, often are. It is important for individuals to know their predisposition and risk of developing diabetes in order to know how to best avoid developing the disease. This month’s campaign provides valuable information for those at risk for developing diabetes, those who currently have it, and for friends, family members, and colleagues who know someone with diabetes.
Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal due to insulin not being produced correctly within the body. It can cause serious health complications and is considered the leading reason for kidney failure and new cases of blindness in the United States. It is also a major cause of heart disease and stroke, and is ranked as the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. Though not all types of diabetes are preventable, there is much that you can do to prevent yourself from developing diabetes or to live a long and healthier life with it. For an introduction to pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes, please read, “Pre-diabetes and Diabetes 101.”
Special Health Concerns Related to Diabetes
Though diabetes is primarily related to the pancreas and blood, it can affect any part of the body. If blood glucose is not kept under control and at healthy levels, it can negatively impact your cardiovascular system, blood pressure, eye functionality, kidneys, nerve endings, circulation to the extremities, digestion, oral health, mood stability, and more. If you or some one you care for suffers from diabetes, please be sure to read and share “Diabetes Health Concerns” to learn more about the importance of keeping your blood glucose levels under control for overall health.
While Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, studies have shown that moderate weight loss and exercise can prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes among adults at high-risk of developing diabetes. Factors that increase your risk of developing diabetes include: age, obesity, having a close relative with diabetes, having high blood pressure, and being physically inactive. If you’re ready to refocus on increasing your activity level and improving your diet, read, “Be Active & Eat Right.”
Staying Healthy with Diabetes
If you or some one you care about is currently living with diabetes, it is extremely important to understand the overall health benefits of keeping blood glucose at healthy levels. It is necessary for those with diabetes to see their doctor regularly to assess that diabetes is not negatively impacting the health of their eyes, heart, kidneys, extremities, and cholesterol. It is essential for those with diabetes to lead active lifestyles, keep their body weight and cholesterol at healthy levels, not smoke or use tobacco products, eat a healthy and balanced diet, and get an annual flu shot. For more specifics on living a healthy life with diabetes, please read, “Staying Healthy with Diabetes.”