November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Throughout the month, LiveWell Johnson County will be posting information about how to reduce your risk for developing diabetes. Before we start talking about prevention, however, let’s do a quick review of what we know about diabetes.
Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal in the body. For a person without diabetes, the food they consume is turned into glucose which provides energy to the body. In someone with diabetes, however, that glucose isn’t absorbed adequately and ends up building up in the blood. This excess build-up of glucose can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations.
Diabetes is now the seventh leading cause of death in America. In 2012, over 20 million adults had been diagnosed with diabetes and the numbers continue to rise. If the current trend continues, the CDC estimates that 1 in every 5 adults will be diabetic by the year 2025.
Additionally, over 86 million adults have pre-diabetes which means that glucose levels are higher than normal, but not quite high enough to have full-blown diabetes. That equates to 1 in every 3 adults! Of those 86 million, only 10 percent know they are prediabetic.
The good news is that by making practical lifestyle changes like healthy eating and increasing physical activity minutes, it is possible to reduce your risk for developing diabetes. Stay tuned this month for information, tips, recipes and resources from LiveWell Johnson County to help support lifestyle changes in the community!