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Diabetes Awareness

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Right now, 86 million Americans are pre-diabetic with 9 out of every 10 not even knowing!  Within 5 years, upwards of 30% of those people will further develop type-2 diabetes. The word “pre” makes it seem like it is not of concern and that action is not needed. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Pre-diabetics are at high risk for heart disease, stroke, and type-2 diabetes. In addition, pre-diabetes can appear without any symptoms, making it hard to notice without taking medical tests. It’s only once the blood glucose levels reach high enough to become diabetes, that symptoms typically begin. Currently, 30 million Americans live with type-2 diabetes even though it is 100% preventable.

About Diabetes:

Pre-diabetes is categorized as when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not so high that you are considered a type-2 diabetic. Type-2 diabetes is when your body cannot properly use the insulin being produced. In comparison, Type-1 diabetes, or more commonly known as juvenile on-set diabetes, is when your body cannot produce insulin. Only about 5% of those with diabetes have type-1.

Pre-diabetes and type-2 diabetes are typically brought on due to a family history of diabetes, improper diet, lack of exercise, obesity, and age. Diabetes can cause severe complications like heart disease, stroke, skin and eye complications, nerve damage, kidney disease, and more. Failure to regulate diabetes correctly could lead to death.            

Who is at risk:

Type-2 diabetes can be diagnosed at any age but is more prevalent for those who are:

  • Older in age (the older you become, the higher the risk).
  • Are not physically active.
  • Have a family history of diabetes.
  • Women who have had gestational diabetes.
  • Male.

There are several risk factors that can contribute to diabetes, however, having a risk factor does not mean you will get diabetes. Knowing your risk factors, leading a healthy lifestyle, and getting regular check-ups is the best defense against becoming diabetic.

Those with a family history of diabetes are at higher risk and should be most diligent of keeping their weight in a healthy range and maintaining a proper diet.

Common symptoms to look for:

If you suspect you might be a pre-diabetic, contact your primary care physician for a wellness checkup. Pre-diabetes might not show any symptoms, making it hard for a person to detect.  Once pre-diabetes becomes type-2 diabetes, more serious symptoms will present, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Increased thirst and hunger
  • Urinating often
  • Tingling and pain in your hands and feet
  • Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal

Treatment and Cures:

Pre-diabetes and type-2 diabetes can be avoided and reversed with lifestyle change. Before beginning any diet or exercise changes, make sure to contact your doctor for approval. Typical treatments include diet modification, exercise, and medication.

You can change your risk by:

  • Adopting a healthy diet that is low in processed carbs, fats, and sugar. The Mediterranean diet is popular amongst many in the medical field because it encourages eating more fruits and vegetables, while lowering unhealthy fats and processed carbohydrates.
  • Getting 30 minutes or more of daily exercise can help you burn fat and lower weight.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.

Don’t wait to get type-2 diabetes, start making changes today to lower your risk factors! You don’t have to be one of the 86 million pre-diabetics or one of the 30 million with type-2 diabetes. You are in control and you have the power to make the change.

If you haven’t already this year, make sure to schedule your annual wellness checkup with your primary care physician. Those on a TeleTech sponsored medical plan receive free preventive care, and get $100 credited into their health savings or reimbursement account for their first preventive visit this year.


Resources Articles, Self-Assessments, & Quizzes

National Diabetes Prevention Program

Mediterranean Diet

The Dinner Daily

Are You at Risk?

Lower Your Risk