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Diabetes Awareness

American Diabetes Month: November

Stop Diabetes Logo from the American Diabetes Association

Quick Facts about Diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association,

  • In 2015, 30.3 million, or 9.4% of, Americans had diabetes.
  • Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States in 2015.
  • Diabetes by race/ethnicity:
    •     7.4% of non-Hispanic whites
    • 8.0% of Asian Americans
    • 12.1% of Hispanics
    • 12.7% of non-Hispanic blacks
    • 15.1% of American Indians/Alaskan Natives

References:

American Diabetes Association (n.d.). Statistics about diabetes. Retrieved from http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/.

Diabetes Myths and Facts

Myth: Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar.

Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and unknown factors that trigger its onset; type 2 is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors. Being overweight increases your risk for developing type 2, and a diet high in calories from any source contributes to weight gain. Research has shown that sugary drinks are linked to type 2 diabetes.

Myth: Diabetes is not a serious disease.

Diabetes causes more deaths a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Having diabetes nearly doubles your chance of having a heart attack. The good news is that good diabetes control can reduce your risks for diabetes complications.

Myth: People with diabetes can feel when their blood glucose level goes too low.

Not always. Some people cannot feel or recognize the symptoms of low blood glucose, or hypoglycemia, which can be dangerous.

Myth: People with Type 2 diabetes who need to use insulin are in serious trouble.

Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease, and most people with it eventually need insulin. By using insulin to keep their diabetes in good control, people with type 2 can often avoid complications and lead a healthy life.

Myth: You have to lose a lot of weight for your diabetes to improve.

Losing just 7% of your body weight can offer significant health benefits—about 15 pounds if you weigh 200.