More than 29 million Americans—or about 9 percent of the U.S. population—have diabetes, and it’s estimated that one in every four people with diabetes does not know they have the disease.
In Michigan, it is estimated that 10 percent of adults—or 758,300— have been diagnosed with diabetes, while an additional 250,200 adults are currently undiagnosed. If left undiagnosed or untreated, diabetes can lead to serious health problems, including kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke.
During National Diabetes Month this November, take your health into your own hands by controlling the “ABCs of Diabetes” to prevent diabetes-related health complications down the road:
- A is for the A1C test (A-one-C). This is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar (glucose) level over the past three months.
- S is for smoking cessation.
ABCs goals depend on how long a person has had diabetes and other health problems. Coping with diabetes, eating well, being active, and talking to your health care team are all important aspects of living with diabetes.
Diabetes Month is not only about encouraging people with diabetes to better manage their condition, but to educate those who are at high risk for developing the chronic disease.
About 2.6 million Michigan adults are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, also known as prediabetes. These individuals include older adults, individuals who are overweight and/or inactive, African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and women who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
There are steps you can take to live a healthier, diabetes-free life:
- Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five days a week.
- Eat a variety of foods that are low in fat and reduce the number of calories you eat per day.
- Learn about how you can be involved in a nationally recognized Diabetes Prevention Program in your community
Diabetes education and support is vital among those affected by the disease, including their caretakers, and the many more individuals at risk. Check out the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) to learn more, and help spread the word about World Diabetes Day on Saturday, November 14, 2015. About the author: Mary Hiller is a communications coordinator for the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan. She hopes to provide Michigan residents with resources that will help them live a healthy life. Mary enjoys doing yoga, trying new restaurants, and the (sunny) Michigan outdoors.
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