In recognition of National Diabetes Awareness Month, Audubon County Memorial Hospital and Clinics is committed to raising awareness of diabetes.

The Center for Disease Control reports that, diabetes is the 8th leading cause of death in the United States. 37.3 million US adults have diabetes, and 1 in 5 of them don’t know they have it.

Also reporting that more than 96 million U.S. adults have prediabetes, the CDC notes that 84% of these adults don’t know they have it.

According to the CDC, “Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. If you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use the insulin it makes as well as it should.”  The two most common types of diabetes are type 1 and type 2.

Type 1 is thought by the CDC to be an autoimmune reaction that affects 5-10% of the diabetic population. It is typically diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults when symptoms can develop rapidly. The most prevalent type of diabetes is type 2. The National Institute of Health (NIH) attests that “About 90-95 percent of cases in adults are type 2 diabetes.”    In these cases, “Your body doesn’t use insulin well and can’t keep blood sugar at normal levels.” (CDC).

Knowing the risk factors for diabetes and discussing them with your doctor is an important step in detection and in some cases prevention. Some risk factors include:

  • Family history
  • Overweight
  • Are 45 years or older
  • Have a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes
  • Are physically active less than 3 times a week
  • Have ever had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or given birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
  • Are African American, Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian, or Alaska Native (some Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans are also at higher risk)

While there is no cure for diabetes, the good news is that The American Diabetes Association indicates that it is possible to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. By making small changes to the way you eat, increasing your physical activity, and managing your diabetes, you can reduce the impact diabetes has on your life.

If you feel that you may be at risk for diabetes, call and make an appointment with your primary care provider at Audubon Family Health Care (712-563-4611) or Exira Medical Clinic (712-268-5348).