American Diabetes Month®

by EMP Editor on November 6, 2008

November Is American Diabetes Month®. Throughout the month the American Diabetes Association (ADA) will be working hard to raise awareness about the seriousness of diabetes and its potential complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and amputations.

Diabetes affects 7.8% of the American population, that’s 23.6 million people. Of that 23.6 million 17.9 million people have been diagnosed but the remaining 5.7 million people have yet to be diagnosed. Adults and children alike are susceptible to diabetes. This disease does not age discriminate.

What exactly is diabetes? Diabetes is a disease that causes blood glucose levels to be above normal. People with diabetes have trouble converting food to energy. The food you eat is broken down into a sugar called glucose. Your blood carries the glucose to cells throughout your body. Cells use insulin, a hormone made in the pancreas, which aids in converting blood glucose into energy.

How do you know if you could be at risk for diabetes? Check these risk factors:

  • Your mother, father, sister, or brother has diabetes
  • You are African American, Hispanic American/Latino, American Indian, Native Alaskan, Asian American, or Pacific Islander
    You have high blood pressure (at or above 130/80)
  • You have a history of diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) or gave birth to a baby weighing more than nine pounds at birth
  • You are overweight or obese
  • You are inactive or have a sedentary lifestyle
  • You are more than 45 years old
  • The ADA provides a great Diabetes Risk Calculator allowing you to determine your risk of prediabetes or diabetes.

    Do you have diabetes or someone close to you? Does your child have diabetes? Do they have a nurse at school to help them monitor their blood sugar? Take a moment to comment on how diabetes has affected your life.

    Sources: USA.gov, American Diabetes Association

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