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Learn the Facts during American Diabetes Month

Each November, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) conducts a diabetes awareness campaign. Why? Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. It can cause blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, increased risk of heart attack and stroke, and other health problems if it’s not controlled.

One in 11 Americans have diabetes — that’s more than 29 million people. And another 86 million adults in the United States are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It’s important to know the symptoms of diabetes, which can include:

  • Frequent Urination
  • Excessive Thirst
  • Extreme Hunger
  • Unexplained Weight Loss
  • Fatigue
  • Blurry Vision

If you are overweight, have high blood pressure, or are age 45 or older, you are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The good news is that people who are at high risk for type 2 diabetes can lower their risk by more than half if they make healthy changes such as:

  • Getting regular physical activity. Aim for 30 minutes of activity a day.
  • Losing excess body weight. A modest weight loss of 5-10 pounds can help your body’s insulin work more effectively.
  • Eating and drinking less refined sugars such as: cookies, candy, juice drinks, and soda. Although eating sugar does not cause diabetes, high sugar foods typically have little nutritional value.
  • Eating more fiber by including more fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.
  • Getting a fasting blood sugar test per your health care provider’s recommendation.

Know your risk. Take this quick test, or download the paper version, to assess your risk for diabetes.