November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and it is more important than ever to highlight this challenging epidemic. According to Healthline, approximately 29.1 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, but about 8.1 million may be undiagnosed. Although it is not a curable disease yet, diabetes can be managed and treated, and those who suffer from it can live long, healthy lives.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the disease, here are some quick facts:
- Each year in the U.S. there are about 4 million diabetes diagnoses.
- 1 in 10 adults, age 20 or older, has diabetes.
- 1 in 4 seniors, age 65 or older, has diabetes.
- Diabetes care costs the U.S. about $245 billion per year as of 2012, and is expected to rise even more, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
If diabetes is so common, how can you know if you have it? Well, there are a few common symptoms and risk factors you should consider, including your age, weight, family history, ethnicity, exercise habits, and diet, according to Joslin Diabetes Center:
- Increased hunger and thirst
- Urinating more than usual
- Weight loss
- Blurry vision
- Hands and feet are tingly or numb
- Extreme fatigue
- Wounds that will not heal
- Frequent infections of the skin, gums, or bladder
To prevent diabetes, it’s important to maintain a healthy diet, exercise often, and visit your healthcare provider regularly. For more information about diabetes care and prevention, visit cdc.gov/diabetes or diabetes.org.
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