American Diabetes Month: Taking control

Health and Fitness, Topics
heart shaped bowl of fruitEach year, the National Institutes of Health find that more and more Americans are being diagnosed with a form of diabetes.

Currently, more than 100 million people in the United States live with the disease, yet only 11.6 percent knew they were living as a pre-diabetic.

The latest figures show that 86.1 million Americans are pre-diabetic, whether they know about it or not.

"Diabetes is unique in that it's one of the few diseases that someone can be "˜pre-diagnosed' but then prevent by making lifestyle changes," said Judi Zielke, RN, certified diabetes educator with the McLaren Macomb Nutritional Counseling & Diabetes Education Center. "If it's possible for the individual, steps should be taken to avoid this disease."

One of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States, diabetes can lead to heart disease and blindness.

But with preventative measures and lifestyle changes, even those at-risk (or currently pre-diabetic) can save themselves from becoming type 2 diabetic.

"Parents should definitely keep an eye out for any symptoms and, more importantly, risk factors that might lead to their child becoming diabetic later in life," Zielke said.

Are you at risk for type 2 diabetes? Take the test here.

At-risk symptoms of diabetes:
Extreme weakness/tiredness
Extreme thirst/dehydration
Increased urination
Abdominal pain
Blurry vision
Wounds that won't heal
Mood changes/Irritability
Weight loss, despite eating more
Low body temperature

Preventative steps:
Increase physical activity
Get plenty of fiber
Choose "˜whole grain' options
Lose extra weight
Sustainable healthy choices

For more information, or to schedule an appointment with the professionals with Nutritional Counseling & Diabetes Education, call (586) 493-8500.