News: National Diabetes Awareness Month 2023

 Diabetes Facts:

November is National Diabetes Month, a time when communities across the country seek to bring attention to diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high.  This year’s focus is on taking action to prevent diabetes health problems.

Diabetes is an epidemic in the United States.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 37 million Americans have diabetes and face its devastating consequences.  Diabetes can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart, and it is linked to some types of cancer. 

What is true nationwide is also true in Illinois. 

** Over 1Million people in Illinois, or 10% of the adult population, have been diagnosed with diabetes. 

** Close to 300,000 people in Illinois have diabetes but do not know it, greatly increasing their health risk. 

** There are close to 3.5 million people in Illinois or 34% of the adult population who have prediabetes with blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. 

** Every year an estimated 75,000 people in Illinois are diagnosed with diabetes. 

Action Steps to Lower Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes:

Research such as the Diabetes Prevention Program shows that you can do a lot to reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.  Here are some things you can change to lower your risk:

** Lose weight and keep it off.  You may be able to prevent or delay diabetes by losing 5 to 7 percent of your starting weight.  For instance, if you weigh 200 pounds, your goal would be to lose about 10 to 14 pounds.

** Move more.  Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week.  If you have not been active, talk with your health care professional about which activities are best.  Start slowly to build up to your goal.

** Eat Healthy Foods most of the time. Eat smaller portions to reduce the number of calories you eat each day and help you lose weight.  Choosing foods with less fat is another way to reduce calories.  Drink water instead of sweetened beverages.