November is Diabetes Awareness Month (DAM) and November 14 was World Diabetes Day (WDD). The purpose of DAM and WDD is to raise awareness of a condition that millions of people all around the world live with every day. Diabetes is a challenging disease that affects your health in a variety of ways. An estimated 100 million people in the U.S., or one in three people, has a diagnosis of pre-diabetes.
According to the American Diabetes Association, if you’re over age 45, you should get an A1C or glucose test. If you’re younger than 45, overweight and have a family history, take the ADA Risk Test.
“If your glucose test shows you’re at higher risk, follow up with your health-care provider as soon as possible, said Dr. Hanna Xu, a family medicine physician at Cook County Health (CCH).“ “If you discover you have pre-diabetes, it is important to make lifestyle changes and consider medications to prevent diabetes.”
For people actually living with diabetes, family support is very important when it comes to managing diabetes and serious complications such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, and nerve damage that can lead to amputation. It’s also important to know that having a family history of diabetes – such as a mother, father, brother, or sister with diabetes – increases a person’s risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Research shows that 7 in 10 people with pre-diabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes over time. With increases in childhood obesity, Type 2 Diabetes is also becoming more common in children.
Being active, eating healthy foods and maintain a healthy weight can reduce your chances over developing type 2 diabetes by more than half. Visit http://www.diabetes.org/ for resources to make healthy changes, and avoid development of pre-diabetes.