American Diabetes Month
November is American Diabetes Month. During this month, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) raises awareness about this disease. The ADA is trying to help prevent and control the increasing numbers of people developing diabetes.
WHAT IS DIABETES?
- Pre-diabetes: The stage when blood glucose (sugar) is abnormally high, but not all of the symptoms are present as in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
- Type 1 diabetes: The disease that causes the pancreas to stop making enough insulin. Insulin is the hormone that helps the body to make energy from food that is eaten. This type of diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. About 5 percent of the population has this type of diabetes.
- Type 2 diabetes: The most common type of diabetes. It is occurs because the body is not able to use the insulin properly. Without insulin the glucose levels rise to unsafe levels. This type of diabetes can be prevented. Persons at highest risk for Type 2 diabetes are African American, Native American, Latino and older people of all races and ethnicities.
SYMPTOMS OF TYPE 2 DIABETES:
- Weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Sores that don't heal
- Increased thirst
- Increased hunger
- Increased urination, especially at night
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREVENT AND CONTROL TYPE 2 DIABETES?
DIET TIPS: The ADA suggests a meal plan which serves as a guide that tells you how much and what kinds of food you can choose to eat at meals and snack times.
- Watch portion sizes
- Pick foods rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber
- Avoid processed foods
- Include a wide variety of foods, such as:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Non-fat dairy products
- Lean meats, poultry and fish
EXERCISE: The ADA recommends exercise as a way to manage diabetes. Types of activities ADA recommends:
- Aerobic exercise
- Strength training
- Flexibility exercises
- Balance exercises
- Monitor blood sugar levels
- Avoid stress
- Limit alcohol
- Plan ahead for illness
- Create a food plan
- Limit sugar sweetened beverages
- Take medication as prescribed
- In the United States, about 30 million adults and children have diabetes.
- Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, amputations, heart failure and stroke.
- The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion.
- Pre-diabetes affects 86 million Americans. Pre-diabetes increases the risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
- Diabetes claims the life of 1 American every 3 minutes.
Find out if you are at risk for developing diabetes by visiting the American Diabetes Association website.