November is Diabetes Awareness Month –the news is sweet!

Research studies show that moderate weight loss and exercise can prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes among adults at high-risk of 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. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a great resource for accurate information on Type 1, Type 2 & Gestational diabetes.

What is prediabetes?

People with blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet in the diabetic range have "prediabetes." Doctors sometimes call this condition impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), depending on the test used to diagnose. Insulin resistance and prediabetes usually have no symptoms. You may have one or both conditions for several years without noticing anything. If you have prediabetes, you have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Are there any symptoms?

People who think they might have diabetes must visit a physician for diagnosis. They might have some or none of the following symptoms:

  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme hunger
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
  • Feeling very tired much of the time
  • Very dry skin
  • Sores that are slow to heal
  • More infections than usual

Nausea, vomiting or stomach pains may accompany some of these symptoms in the abrupt onset of insulin-dependent diabetes, now called Type 1 diabetes.

The diabetes good news!

  • A diagnosis of diabetes and/or your genetic disposition of developing diabetes does not have to become all bad news. On the contrary – although millions of Americans are at high risk for diabetes, a serious and costly disease that has reached epidemic proportions in the past 10 years. The good news: Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed.
  • Research studies show that moderate weight loss and exercise can prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes among adults at high risk of diabetes.

Find out your risk of diabetes by taking the American Diabetes Association risk quiz.

Working with your health care provider(s), diabetes educators and attending diabetes self-managing education in your community offered through Michigan State University Extension can boost your success in managing your diabetes.

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