November 5, 2013
This November during National Diabetes Month, ask yourself if you’re at risk of type 2 diabetes and take steps to prevent it. Diabetes affects 26 million Americans, with 19 million people diagnosed and 7 million undiagnosed. And an estimated 79 million American adults aged 20 years or older have prediabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing the disease.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugar to build up in your blood.
Prediabetes is an elevated blood glucose level that is not quite high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes, but is higher than normal. One in three American adults has prediabetes, and most do not even know they have it. Many people with prediabetes who do not lose weight or do moderate physical activity will develop type 2 diabetes within 3 years.
What Can You Do?
Prevent or delay type 2 diabetes today by learning about its risks and making lifestyle changes with a group in your community.