November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. This month, we encourage everyone to take time to consider the risk factors for diabetes and to take steps to prevent it.
Did you know?
There are three types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational. Only about 5% of diabetics are type 1, and many of those are diagnosed in childhood or as young adults. Gestational diabetes affects pregnant women (about 2-10%) and typically ends after pregnancy. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type and tends to develop in adulthood and is preventable. Comorbidities or complications associated with diabetes are severe. Many are common and can cause serious, long-term consequences including: hypoglycemia, hypertension (affecting 71% of adults with diabetes), dyslipidemia (affecting 65% of adults with diabetes), cardiovascular disease (death rates are 1.7 times higher with diabetes), heart attack (1.8 higher hospitalization rate with diabetes), stroke (1.5 higher hospitalization rate with diabetes), blindness (in diabetics over 40 years in age, 28.5% have damage to blood vessels in eyes that may leads to blindness), kidney disease (diabetes is the primary cause of kidney failure in 44% of all new cases) and amputations (73,000 in 2010 alone, accounting for 60% of all non-traumatic lower-limb amputations).
Diabetes is the 4th most common primary illness in clients served by MANNA. In the past year alone, MANNA has served 433 diabetic clients, comprising 23% of all MANNA clients. As of 2012, 9.3% of Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes – almost 1 in 10! Over a quarter of all seniors have diabetes and it is now the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. There are 1.7 million new cases per year and approximately 7 million diabetics are undiagnosed.
The most effective way to prevent and control diabetes is through a proper diet. A proper diabetic diet is more than just skipping out on cake and cookies. Managing diabetes through diet requires portion control, meal regularity and balance. Diabetics must regulate the amount of carbohydrates in their diets in order to keep blood glucose levels safe. Balancing carbohydrates with protein and fiber is important as well. If blood glucose levels spike too high or drop too low the effects can range from shakiness and fatigue to hospitalization and seizures. Working with a Dietitian and/or a Certified Diabetes Educator can help diabetics make smart choices and minimize the risk of high or low blood sugar. MANNA’s dietitians provide free nutrition counseling and education for individuals suffering from diabetes. To schedule an appointment, contact the Nutrition Department at 215-496-2662 x5.
MANNA is also proud to share that we will Step Out for Diabetes! On Saturday, November 1st, the MANNAmals will once again be at the Art Museum to support The Walk to Stop Diabetes. We’re committed to walk and raise money in this inspirational event not because 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, but because we personally know some of them, and want to do something about it. So many lives are touched by diabetes. Chances are your life is too. Join us or donate – either way, you can change lives. For more information or to register, visit our Team Page or search for Team MANNA. We are forever grateful for your support. Together we can Stop Diabetes!