November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

Diabetes is a costly and devastating chronic illness. Approximately 356,000 adults and 6,500 children and teenagers in Wisconsin have been diagnosed with diabetes. Two out of five adults are expected to develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetime. It is estimated that an additional 138,000 have diabetes but are undiagnosed. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in Wisconsin, incurring an estimated $5.5 billion annually in health care and lost productivity costs. Each year, more than 1,300 Wisconsin residents die from diabetes and many more suffer disabling complications such as heart disease, kidney disease, blindness, and amputations. This burden is higher among minority populations. Much of the health and economic burden can be averted through prevention measures.

About one third of adults have prediabetes, yet nearly 90% do not know it. Prediabetes means that your blood sugar is higher than normal, but not yet diabetes.  Without simple lifestyle changes such as: healthier eating habits, increasing activity and losing weight, the prediabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes within five years.

How can you tell if you have Prediabetes? You can take a short online test at DoIHavePrediabetes.org (https://doihaveprediabetes.org/ to see if you are at risk.

If you score 3-8 points you are at a low risk now. Keep your risk low by keeping your weight down, exercising regularly, not using tobacco, and eating low fat meals with fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods. If you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure talk to your health care provider about your risk for type 2 diabetes.

If you score 9 or more points you are at high risk for having prediabetes now and you should see your healthcare provider soon.

You can be tested for Prediabetes by seeing your healthcare provider.

For more information on Diabetes and Prediabetes you can visit www.cdc.gov/diabetes  and www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/diabetes/prediabetes.htm

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