November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

November 12, 2010 at 2:46 pm Leave a comment

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, a time to talk about the seriousness of diabetes and the importance of diabetes prevention and control.

In the United States, 24 million people are living with diabetes and 57 million more are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Over time, if it’s not controlled, type 2 diabetes can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke and blindness.

You may be at risk for type 2 diabetes if you:

  • Are overweight
  • Exercise less than three times a week
  • Are over 45 years-old
  • Have high blood pressure or high cholesterol
  • Are African-American, Latino, American-Indian, Alaska Native, Asian-American or Pacific Islander
  • Have a parent, brother or sister with diabetes.

Diabetes often goes undiagnosed because many of its symptoms seem harmless. And often, people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms at all. Recent studies indicate that the early detection of diabetes symptoms and treatment can decrease the chance of developing the complications of diabetes.

Common symptoms include: frequent urination; unusual thirst; extreme hunger; unusual weight loss; extreme fatigue and irritability; frequent infections; blurred vision; cuts and bruises that are slow to heal; tingling or numbness in the hands and feet; and recurring skin, gum or bladder infections. If you have one or more of these diabetes symptoms, see your doctor right away.

You can do a lot to lower your chances of getting type 2 diabetes by eating healthy, watching your weight, being active, and controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol. For information on diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association website.

Entry filed under: Managing your health, To Your Health.

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