American Diabetes Awareness Month: Know Your Risk Factors

November 6, 2023

November is recognized as American Diabetes Month, emphasizing the importance of understanding the signs and symptoms of diabetes to prevent its onset. Diabetes remains a prevalent concern, impacting millions of individuals, with many unaware of their prediabetic status. Being prediabetic places you at an elevated risk of progressing to Type 2 diabetes, making it crucial to take action. 

While diabetes screenings are a year-round necessity, AFC Urgent Care Norwalk strongly encourages everyone to educate themselves about diabetes and undergo annual blood sugar level checks. The alarming rise in diabetes cases underscores the urgency of proactive measures to safeguard your health. Here's what you need to know:

Diabetes Cases on the Rise Since 2019

The numbers speak volumes, and every year, new information emerges concerning diabetes and its various types. According to a study by the CDC on Diabetes in the United States:

  • Roughly 37 million people are living with diabetes.
  • In 2019, 96 million adults aged 18 or older reported having prediabetes, which accounts for approximately one-third of the U.S. population.
  • About 23.1 million adults aged 65 or older have prediabetes.

These statistics can be unsettling, especially when considering the vast population affected by prediabetes. It's possible that you or a loved one falls into this prediabetic category. Therefore, it is essential to regularly check your blood sugar levels because diabetes can affect individuals of any age.

Early Onset Diabetes: Signs to Watch For

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may be at risk of developing prediabetes or full-blown Type 2 diabetes:

Common symptoms of diabetes include:

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

Risk factors for diabetes include:

  • Prediabetes
  • Overweight
  • Age of 45 or older
  • A family history of Type 2 diabetes
  • Less than 3 times per week physical activity
  • A history of gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby weighing over 9 pounds
  • High blood pressure or medication for hypertension
  • Elevated cholesterol levels

Don't Overlook Diabetes

This year's National Diabetes Awareness Month places significant emphasis on the link between diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Diabetes elevates your risk of developing severe conditions such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • Nerve damage
  • Eye problems

Your lifestyle provides critical insight into your physical well-being. For instance, smoking increases your risk of developing one or more of these severe health complications. Smoking narrows blood vessels, hampering your heart's proper functioning.

Pregnancy and Diabetes Risk

Gestational Diabetes can impact both mothers and their offspring during and after pregnancy. As the final trimester approaches, women face a heightened risk of developing gestational diabetes due to hormone fluctuations. It is essential to manage this condition with medical supervision during pregnancy. Even if you acquire gestational diabetes, there is an opportunity to prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes later. Additionally, safeguarding your child now can help avert the early onset of diabetes in their life.

Check Your Blood Sugar Levels at AFC Urgent Care Norwalk

In light of Diabetes Awareness Month, AFC Urgent Care Norwalk encourages individuals to undergo blood sugar level checks for diabetes. Our facility operates seven days a week, offering extended weekday hours from 8 am to 8 pm and weekend hours from 8 am to 5 pm. You can either walk in or schedule an appointment online. Most insurance plans are also accepted for your convenience. Speaking about your convenience, we also offer an easy to use online payment system that will have you checked out of your bill in just a few clicks. 

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