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Hart Health Hints: November is American Diabetes Month

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Join us as we recognize American Diabetes Month this November. This year, the campaign aims to raise awareness about the 29 million Americans with diabetes and to create a sense of urgency about this growing public health crisis. Approximately 1.4 million Americans over 20 are diagnosed with diabetes every year.  It remains the 7th leading cause of death, with 69,071 deaths caused by diabetes and 234,051 death certificates with diabetes listed as a contributing cause of death.  The disease costs the Unites States approximately $245 billion. For more diabetes statistics, go here.

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Image courtesy of diabetesnewsjournal.com

There are several types of diabetes. The most commonly known types are Type I and Type II diabetes. Type I is less common, found in about 5% of people with diabetes, and is usually diagnosed in children and young adults.  In this form of the disease the body doesn’t produce insulin to enable the body to get glucose into the cells of the body.  Type II is the most common form of diabetes and occurs when the body doesn’t process insulin correctly.  Some women are at risk for gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy.

Awareness about diabetes is important because of that 29 million people with diabetes, about 8 million of them are undiagnosed.  Common symptoms of diabetes include:

·  Urinating often ·  Blurry vision
·  Feeling very thirsty ·  Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
·  Feeling very hungry – even with eating ·  Weight loss – even with eating more (Type I)
·  Extreme fatigue ·  Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)

Early detection and lifestyle changes can minimize the need for medications and prevent complications.  The National Diabetes Education Initiative publishes a list of diabetes management guidelines, which can be found hereDiabetes in Control published an article in March 2016, describing how important it is for patients to make lifestyle changes.

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                                                                                                                                                                                Image courtesy of evaidya.com

“Evidence-based medicine and research has shown a strong trend towards patients taking control of the disease state in their own hands, but that means changing a mindset. Medication on its own will help, but without pursuing a balanced lifestyle, complications will continue to arise and the progression of the disease will go on.”

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Image courtesy of diabeteswell.com

To learn more about diabetes and about the American Diabetes Month campaign, you can view #ThisIsDiabetes  on social media to see  stories from patients, their families, and their doctors around the country.  Check out the flyer from Diabetes.org and you can follow the American Diabetes Association on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.