November is American Diabetes Month

Diabetes is a leading cause of disability and death in the United States. In Oklahoma, diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death. Diabetes occurs when blood sugar (glucose) rises too high. While the body depends on glucose for energy, it is damaging when it elevates above the normal range. When someone has diabetes, the body has trouble turning glucose into energy. Instead of glucose being used by the body, it builds up in the blood and the remainder of the body is starved of energy. 

The type of diabetes most common in the adult population is called type 2 diabetes. There are certain factors that indicate a person is at greater risk for diabetes such as age, weight and ethnicity. The American Diabetes Association® developed a simple assessment to evaluate an increased risk. The test can be taken by clicking HERE. The short and long term health consequences of unmanaged diabetes can be very serious.  If it’s not managed, diabetes can cause health problems such as:

  • Blindness
  • Nerve damage
  • Kidney disease
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke

While there is no cure for diabetes, the disease can be managed, or in some cases reversed.  According to the American Diabetes Association®, there are two primary treatment goals.  The goals include to engage in activities that make the body feel good day-to-day, and to prevent/delay long term health issues. Diabetes can be managed by watching body weight, eating healthy and staying active.  In some cases, medication will need to be prescribed by a health care provider to manage the disease. Additional information about diabetes can be found at www.diabetes.org