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November is Diabetes Awareness Month

By Fallon Foster

Every November we celebrate Thanksgiving. However, November is also Diabetes Awareness Month. With only a couple weeks to go before everybody’s favorite food-centered holiday, Extension is reflecting on the fact that it would be almost impossible to find a family untouched by diabetes. During your Thanksgiving celebrations (and meals), we encourage you to not only give thanks, but to also think about your health and your own risk for diabetes. Raising awareness of this ever-growing disease is one of the main efforts behind the mission of American Diabetes Association. Nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. Another 86 million Americans have prediabetes a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but are not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. People with prediabetes are at increased risk for developing Type 2 diabetes and for heart disease and stroke. Other names for prediabetes are impaired glucose tolerance and impaired fasting glucose. The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion. Type 2 Diabetes is a condition characterized by high blood glucose levels caused by either a lack of insulin or the body’s inability to use insulin efficiently. Type 2 diabetes develops most often in middle-aged and older adults but can appear in young people. You can do a lot to prevent or delay getting type 2 diabetes by

Tip 1: Get more physical activity

There are many benefits to regular physical activity. Exercise can help you:

  • Lose weight
  • Lower your blood sugar

Tip 2: Get plenty of fiber

It’s rough, it’s tough — and it may help you:

  • Reduce your risk of diabetes by improving your blood sugar control
  • Lower your risk of heart disease
  • Promote weight loss by helping you feel full

Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

If you have just been diagnosed with diabetes, or you have been living with diabetes for a while, diabetes education and support are important to help you stay healthy. Diabetes education is needed throughout your lifetime, not just at diagnosis. Learning to manage your diabetes from the start can help you have fewer health problems from diabetes later. For more information on upcoming Type 2 Diabetes Education Classes (DWBW Diabetes) at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Orange County please contact Fallon Foster (FCS Agent) at Extension office 409-882-7010

Fallon Foster is County Extension Agent – Family and Consumer Sciences at the Orange County Texas A&M AgriLlife Extension Service.