National Diabetes Month and What You Need to Know

November 2020

Every 23 seconds, someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with diabetes. Those living with diabetes face many obstacles in their everyday life. It dictates what they eat, how they spend their money, and how they choose to be physically active. They also have healthcare costs that are 2.3 times higher than those living without diabetes. In observance of national diabetes month, we recommend becoming aware of how to prevent the disease.

Approximately 5 percent of those living with diabetes have type 1, and type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of cases. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and there is no known prevention. Those living with type 1 are not able to produce insulin; therefore, they must take insulin every day of their life. Type 2 diabetes is caused when the body cannot produce insulin properly. Some risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes include being overweight or having a family history of diabetes. Type 2 is also more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, and older adults.

There are 86 million Americans at risk for diabetes, and with no visible symptoms, diabetes prevention is a significant step to take.

  1. Engage in physical activity. The benefits of physical activity include losing weight, lower blood sugar levels, and increased sensitivity to insulin which helps keep your blood sugar within a normal range. Having an established exercise routine also benefits those currently living with diabetes.
  2. Get adequate amounts of fiber. Not only does regular physical activity help control blood sugar levels, but so does getting plenty of fiber. Fiber also helps reduce the risk of heart disease and promotes weight loss by helping you feel full.
  3. Eat whole grains.
  4. Lose excess weight. For some, especially those overweight, prevention can rely on losing weight. Those who exercised on a regular basis reduced their risk of developing diabetes by almost 60 percent. Every pound lost can improve your health.
  5. Make healthier choices. Establishing a healthy daily diet is just as important as establishing a healthy physical routine. Eating a variety of nutrition-rich foods and controlling your portions should be incorporated into your healthy-eating plan.

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