Do Your Part to Stop Diabetes This November
|Tuesday, 02 November 2010|
November is American Diabetes Month and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is asking the public, “How will you Stop Diabetes®? The future is in your hands.” Throughout the month, the ADA provides resources and opportunities both nationally and locally to raise awareness about diabetes and its serious complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and blindness.
Most people with diabetes have risk factors that are linked to heart disease and stroke, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol. According to the ADA, when combined with diabetes, these risk factors add up to big trouble. For people with diabetes, heart attacks can occur earlier in life and often result in death. By managing diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol, people with diabetes can reduce their risk. It is important to understand the disease and the risk factors and symptoms associated with it.
Among the primary risk factors for type 2 diabetes are being overweight, sedentary, over the age of 45, and having a family history of diabetes. In fact, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases reports that more than 23 percent of American adults over the age of 60 have diabetes, and nearly 11 percent of those between the age of 40 and 59 have been diagnosed with diabetes. African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders are also at an increased risk, as are women who have had babies weighing more than nine pounds at birth.
People with type 2 diabetes can live for years without realizing that they have the disease. While people with diabetes can exhibit noticeable symptoms, such as frequent urination, blurred vision, and excessive thirst, most people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes do not show these overt warning signs at the time that they develop the disease. Often, type 2 diabetes only becomes evident when people develop one or more of its serious complications, such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye damage, or nerve damage that can lead to amputations.
Early detection is crucial to helping prevent long-term damage to the body. The sooner diabetes is detected, the sooner lifestyle changes can be made to help counter the disease. Individuals who think they are at risk of developing diabetes should consult their healthcare provider and take precautions, such as losing weight and eating right, to help prevent the disease. Being aware of the risks and making changes in lifestyle now can lead to a healthier, longer life, free of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Learn more about diabetes, including tips for preventing and controlling the disease, from the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program. Find out more about National Diabetes Month at www.diabetes.org.