November is National Diabetes Awareness Month!

Did you know that nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have been diagnosed with diabetes? Another 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and in honor of this, we wanted to share some diabetes prevention health suggestions with you. Not everyone is at risk but with the numbers steadily increasing, it is always a good idea to keep your health in mind. With just a few simple steps, you can drastically reduce your risk!

Get your checkup! – Have you had your yearly physical? Your annual check-up is important for a number of reasons but can be vital in the early detection of pre-diabetic symptoms. Make sure that you are getting your basic blood panel workup with each physical. Even slightly elevated blood sugar levels (the kind that doesn’t necessarily worry you or your doctor), can be a sign of pre-diabetes.

If your blood sugar levels come back as even slightly higher than a normal range, then it may be time to look at your lifestyle habits and see what can be adjusted. Are you drinking a lot of sugary soda or blended coffee concoctions? Do you have a sweet tooth that just won't quit? Talk to your doctor about what small steps you can take today, to prevent diabetes in the future.

Know your family medical history – Is someone in your family already living with diabetes? Just like cancer and heart disease, genetics play a major role in your health.  If you’re not sure, it may be worth it to ask the family members you don’t check in with regularly. Information is your greatest defense against genetic diseases.

Healthy eating – Ok, so you’re probably sick of hearing it but you are what you eat! If you have become accustomed to a scone in the morning, a sweet treat in the afternoon, and dessert after dinner, chances are you are already overloading your system with sugar. Could you replace that scone with an apple? What about skipping dessert tonight? If you’re not sure your eating habits are that bad, try keeping a food log for just a few days. Be honest and you may be surprised at your own habits!

For more information on raising diabetes awareness in your area, visit the American Diabetes Association website.

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