ORLANDO, Fla. – November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Today, more than 30 million people in the US are living with type 2 diabetes. Nearly 25 percent of those people don’t even know they have it. That’s because they don’t know the symptoms, or they don’t see a doctor regularly.
“We do know that about 24% of people who are aged 18 to 44 have prediabetes.” Says MD, Mary Vouyiouklis Kellis.
By 2050, experts believe as many as one in every three people in the U.S. will be affected by type 2 diabetes, but how much do you really know about it?
First question, true or false, if no one in your immediate family has it, then you can’t get it? That’s false. Although having a family member with it puts you at higher risk, the risk of diabetes is higher in people with heart disease, high blood pressure and for those who are overweight.
Question number two, does eating too much sugar cause diabetes? That’s a trick question -- eating sugar does not directly cause diabetes, however, consuming a sugary diet can lead to obesity – which is a risk factor. And research shows that sugary drinks raise blood sugar. Just one 12-ounce can of regular soda contains ten teaspoons of sugar.
“Even with type 2 diabetes sometimes people are not symptomatic until blood sugar levels are very high.” Said Alison Massey, RD, CDE, LDN, MS, and Registered Dietician.
Another question: does diabetes only affect overweight people? The answer is no. The CDC reports eleven percent of people with type 2 diabetes are neither overweight nor obese.
Experts agree it’s important to recognize the symptoms early. Which of these is not a sign of diabetes…increased thirst, increased hunger, weight gain, fatigue, blurry vision, slow healing sores? Weight gain is not a symptom. In fact, people with the beginning stages of diabetes often experience unintended weight loss.
Knowing the signs and the facts about diabetes could end up saving your life.
Diabetes causes more deaths per year than breast cancer and aids combined and having diabetes nearly doubles your chance of having a heart attack.