National Diabetes Awareness Month
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. More than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, but 1 out of 4 of them don't know they have it. Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin (insulin resistance). Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors appear to play roles. To find out if you are at risk, take the Diabetes Risk Assessment.
You may be at risk for diabetes if you:
- Are over the age of 45. According to the National Institute of Health everyone over 45 should have a blood sugar (glucose) test at least every 3 years.
- Have prediabetes. If your blood sugar already runs a little high but not high enough to be labeled diabetes, you may have prediabetes. You may be able to prevent diabetes through lifestyle changes. To find out how to prevent diabetes click here.
- Have a family history of diabetes. If your mother, father, sister or brother has diabetes, you are at increased risk.
- Are overweight. People who carry their extra weight around the waist are at a higher risk than people who carry extra weight around the hips.
- Gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds, then you are at increased risk.
- Had gestational diabetes. If you had diabetes during one or more of your pregnancies, then you are at increased risk.
- If your mother had gestational diabetes, you are at increased risk.
- Are a minority. People who are of African, Asian, Native American and Latino descent are at increased risk.