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Get Fit Spotlight in November is Diabetes Awareness

Learn how to maintain a healthy lifestyle through resources in our City, videos, healthy eating, healthy tips for kids, and upcoming events – including the "Cyclin' with the Mayor" kickoff event at Prairie Lights Nov. 24!

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This month is used to bring awareness to a disease that affects nearly 29.1 million Americans and is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose or blood sugar levels are too high. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, that our bodies 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 does not make enough insulin or cannot use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugar to build up in your blood.

Diabetes can cause serious health complications including blindness, heart disease, kidney failure, and amputations of the lower-extremities.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

If you think you might have diabetes visit a physician for proper diagnosis. An individual may exhibit some or none of the symptoms:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme hunger
  • Sores that are slow to heal
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Tingling or numbness in hands and/or feet
  • Feeling very tired much of the time

What are the types of diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes, formerly called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is usually first diagnosed in children, teenagers or young adults. Type 1 may account for about 5% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes, formerly called adult-onset or non-insulin-dependent diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can develop at any age. It also may account for about 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that only develops in women who are pregnant. Gestational diabetes develops in 2% to 10% but usually goes away after the baby is born. A woman who has had it is more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in their life.

What is the treatment for diabetes?

Healthy eating, physical activity, and insulin injections are the basic treatment for type 1 diabetes. Food intake and daily activities account for the amount of insulin taken. Blood glucose levels must be monitored through frequent blood glucose testing.

Healthy eating, physical activity, and blood glucose testing are the basic treatment for type 2 diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes require oral medication, insulin, or both to control blood glucose levels.

Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention

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Last updated: 11/26/2014 1:01:57 PM