Have you been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes? You are not alone.
According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 29.1 million people, or 9.3 percent of the United States population, have diabetes. In those aged 65 and older, the percentage affected by diabetes rises to 25.9 percent. Another 86 million Americans have pre-diabetes, which puts them at an increased risk of developing diabetes, and nine out of ten of those affected do not know it.
Diabetes affects the way the body uses the food we eat. Our bodies break down food into glucose, a form of sugar. Insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas, carries the glucose out of our bloodstream into the cells of our body where it is used for energy. For those with diabetes or pre-diabetes, the body’s ability to produce or respond to insulin is impaired, so glucose is not readily taken out of the blood to be used by cells, and blood glucose levels rise. High blood glucose is the main marker of diabetes and pre-diabetes.
The good news is, diabetes can be prevented, delayed, managed, and in some cases even reversed. It is important to understand the ways that pre-diabetes and diabetes can affect your health, and the lifestyle factors that contribute to the development and progression of the disease, including nutrition, physical activity, and smoking.
There are many resources available in Western New York for pre-diabetics who are looking to make changes to their habits in order to prevent diabetes, as well as resources for those who are diabetic and looking to learn more about the disease, gain support from others, and experience the best outcomes possible. The American Diabetes Association has created a helpful Pre-Diabetes and Diabetes Education and Support Services Guide listing the variety of services available in our region.
Please share this valuable resource with those in your life who can use this information.