November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and Heartland is here with information to help prevent diabetes, or help you manage it.

What is diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that makes your body unable to process sugar. Your body typically produces insulin to process sugars into energy. Those with diabetes do not produce enough insulin, or cannot use insulin correctly. If left unchecked, it can cause heart and kidney disease, vision loss and other problems.

There isn’t a cure for diabetes, but staying fit helps. Having a healthy diet, exercising and losing weight can all reduce the effects of diabetes.

Oftentimes, those with diabetes must use insulin injections to supplement what their bodies make. Your doctor would likely prescribe insulin if needed.

How can I prevent diabetes?

Those tips for helping manage diabetes can also help prevent it altogether! Drinking more water than sugary drinks, more fruits and vegetables and your diet and read food labels when you’re shopping.

You should get 60 minutes of physical activity each day, but whatever you do, keep with it. Make a workout plan for yourself and stick to it.

Quick stats

According the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 30 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, and many of them don’t even know it. About 25% of people with diabetes are unaware of it. More than 84 million adults have pre-diabetes, and about 90% of them don’t know it.

Diabetes is the 7th most common cause of death for adults in the U.S., and it may be underreported. The vast majority of people with diabetes – potentially up to 95% – have type 2 diabetes.

In the past 20 years, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled as the U.S. population has aged.

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