LABELLE, FL. -- The Florida Department of Health in Hendry & Glades Counties recognizes November as Diabetes Awareness Month, a month set aside every year to raise awareness about diabetes and promote the importance of taking steps to confront diabetes as a critical health issue. The theme for this year is The Family and Diabetes, strengthening the role of the family in the management, care, prevention, and education of diabetes.
"Healthy eating can be a family effort to help prevent or safely manage the effects of diabetes. Additionally, maintaining a good relationship with your physician is important to help keep your diabetes under control", said Joe Pepe, Health Officer and Administrator for the Florida Department of Health in Hendry and Glades Counties.
The number of people diagnosed with diabetes has more than tripled in the last 20 years in the U.S. In Florida, it is estimated that over 2.4 million people have diabetes and over 5.8 million have pre-diabetes. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in Florida.
There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant). Women with diabetes have more difficulty conceiving and may have poor pregnancy outcomes, so it is especially important for women to be aware of their risk factors for developing diabetes, including having a family history of diabetes as well as age, weight, and physical activity level.
Due to better treatments, people with diabetes are now living longer—and with a better quality of life—than ever before. Healthy lifestyles can also reduce the impact that diabetes may have on your life. A blood test from your health care provider can determine if you have diabetes. Early treatment can prevent serious problems diabetes can cause, such as loss of eyesight or kidney damage.
When your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes you may be at risk for pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes is a serious health condition that increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Eighty-six million American adults have pre-diabetes. Nine out of 10 people with pre-diabetes don’t know they have it. Fortunately, making healthy lifestyle choices can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems. A simple blood sugar test to find out if you have pre-diabetes. Talk to your health care provider if you should be tested.
To learn more about diabetes prevention and self-management, visit www.floridahealth.gov/diabetes