American Diabetes Month: Understanding Risk, Symptoms, and Prevention

November 6, 2023

Diabetes is a condition that affects millions of people in the United States daily. It's a chronic health issue that impacts the way your body processes food into energy and may lead to excess sugar in your bloodstream. If not managed, it can harm nerves, blood vessels, the heart, and the kidneys.

AFC Urgent Care Malden is here to provide essential knowledge about the risks associated with diabetes. This American Diabetes Month, we want to ensure you are well-informed about diabetes, its risk factors, symptoms, and how to prevent it. Let's delve into the details:

Did You Know There Are Three Types of Diabetes?

Indeed, there are three primary types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Gestational Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most common, generally affecting adults later in life. However, lifestyle choices such as poor diet, smoking, and a lack of exercise can influence its development. Those with a family history are also at an increased risk.

***Prediabetes is often considered a 4th type of diabetes. We urge anyone with a family history or predisposition to diabetes to get a full checkup. Prediabetes is also on the rise and most people who are borderline diabetic, don’t even know they have it!

Am I At Risk For Developing Diabetes?

If you answered "yes" to the question, "Do you have a family history of diabetes?" your risk for diabetes is significantly higher. The risk factors for diabetes include:

  • Having prediabetes
  • Being overweight
  • Age 45 or older
  • Having a close family member with Type 2 diabetes
  • Engaging in physical activity less than three times a week
  • A history of gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
  • High blood pressure or taking medication for it
  • High cholesterol levels

Recognizing the Symptoms of Diabetes

Did you know that over 88 million U.S. adults have prediabetes, with 84% unaware of their condition? It's crucial to be aware of the warning signs and symptoms before it's too late. Common symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Excessive hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Numbness or tingling in the feet or hands
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Unexplained weight loss

Avoid Becoming a Diabetes Statistic

Diabetes often leads to other health complications, including heart disease, kidney issues, and nerve damage. As the CDC reports, the statistics reveal a steady rise in diabetes cases:

  • In 2019, 37.3 million Americans (11.3% of the population) had diabetes.
  • Nearly 1.9 million Americans had Type 1 diabetes, including around 244,000 children and adolescents.
  • Of the 37.3 million adults with diabetes, 28.7 million were diagnosed, and 8.5 million were undiagnosed.
  • Seniors aged 65 and older faced a high prevalence rate of 29.2%, with 15.9 million seniors affected.
  • Each year, 1.4 million Americans are newly diagnosed with diabetes.
  • In 2019, 96 million Americans aged 18 and older had prediabetes.
  • Over the past two decades, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled due to aging, poor eating habits, and increasing weight.
  • People with diabetes are twice as likely to experience heart disease or stroke than those without.

This year, we urge everyone to have regular blood work done to check sugar levels. An A1C test can help determine your blood sugar levels, and with that information, you can speak with your doctor or one of our providers about prevention. If necessary, we can refer you to a diabetes specialist.

AFC Urgent Care Malden is here for you 

AFC Urgent Care Malden is here to assist you in reducing your risk of developing diabetes. Are you concerned about being borderline diabetic or have a family member in a similar situation? Worried that holiday indulgences might lead to a spike in your blood sugar levels?

Visit AFC Urgent Care Malden, open seven days a week. You can walk in or make an appointment from 8 AM to 8 PM, Monday to Friday, and 8 AM to 5 PM on weekends.We provide an easy to use online payment system to make paying your bill a little easier.  We'll check your blood sugar levels before and after the holiday season, providing guidance and support for a healthier life.


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