Did you know that diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States? If left untreated, it can cause blindness, nerve damage, skin problems, kidney disease and other health issues. November is American Diabetes Month. Now is the time to learn the facts and how to help lower your risk.
Know the facts
Diabetes causes blood sugar levels to rise higher than normal in your body. One in 10 Americans has diabetes. There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. In Type 1, the body does not produce insulin. This type is usually found in children and young adults. In Type 2, your body does not use insulin properly. This type is the most common form of diabetes.
Learn the symptoms
Symptoms of diabetes are different for everyone. Some people do not have any signs or symptoms at all. But it’s still important to know what to look for. Some symptoms include:
- Extreme fatigue, thirst and hunger
- Urinating often
- Slow to heal from cuts or bruises
- Blurry vision
- Tingling, pain or numbness in the hands or feet
Help lower you risk
The best way to prevent or delay diabetes is to lead a healthy lifestyle. This includes being at a healthy weight, eating well and exercising. Also, avoid smoking and be sure to get regular checkups. Have your blood pressure and cholesterol monitored. If you have to, make small changes each day that you can maintain. A little bit goes a long way for your overall health.
- American Diabetes Association