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November is National Diabetes Month, providing another opportunity to educate employees about the prevention and management of diabetes.
Diabetes prevalence is a national public health crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 34.2 million adults are estimated to have diabetes, and one-in-three adults, or about 88 million people, have prediabetes.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects circulatory, cardiovascular and nervous system functions. It increases the risk for heart disease, stroke, kidney and liver disease, vision problems, suppressed immunity, depression, anxiety and eating disorders.
Prediabetes means blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. It’s possible to have prediabetes for years without obvious symptoms. Studies show that more than 84 percent of people with prediabetes are not aware they should be taking steps to prevent diabetes.
Prediabetes and diabetes occur when the body’s cells resist insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas to convert sugar to energy. Health monitoring with diagnostic tests is especially important for those with risk factors such as:
It’s also important to get a checkup when there are signs and symptoms that could be caused by high blood sugar. These include:
Getting regular exercise, eating fresh foods, managing weight and not smoking helps prevent prediabetes and diabetes. Other preventive measures include:
Prediabetes, much like high blood pressure, is a potentially serious but silent condition that can be detected early and managed well with guidance from qualified medical professionals.
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