Diabetes is a disease that affects nearly 34.2 million Americans, and the number of people living with this condition continues to rise. According to the American Diabetes Association, 26.8 million of the 34.2 million persons with diabetes were diagnosed, leaving 7.3 million undiagnosed. 88 million Americans over the age of 18 had prediabetes in 2015.
During American Diabetes Month this November, it is important to recognize the risks posed by diabetes. The holiday season is a critical time for us to learn how to take better care of our bodies.
Check for Signs of Prediabetes
A staggering 1 in 3 people is estimated to have prediabetes, and yet most of these people are unaware. The symptoms of prediabetes can appear slowly or suddenly. They may arise because of high blood glucose levels that include:
- Dizziness and/or lightheadedness.
- Excessive thirst, hunger, fatigue, irritability or mood changes.
- Blurred vision (especially in the evenings).
- Increased urination
Take an Online Risk Assessment
Prediabetes is a condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes if it isn’t treated right away. You can use online risk assessment tools from American Diabetes Association and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to determine whether you should get tested for prediabetes. However, it’s best to have a healthcare provider administer your test and analyze the results since home tests can give conflicting results depending on when and how they’re taken.
Make Healthy Living Your Lifestyle
Promote healthy habits right now by eating a nutritious diet, getting enough sleep, and engaging in regular physical activity. Ensure that blood glucose testing is done according to your doctor’s recommendations as this will help you stay within healthy levels.
Promote Diabetes Awareness
During American Diabetes Month, raise awareness about diabetes in your office. You could ask employees to wear blue in honor of World Diabetes Day on November 14. Find local farm-to-table restaurants or health-conscious caterers to provide fresh lunches. You can also start a fundraising campaign for a local diabetes charity by selling raffle tickets for items such as pedomoeters, wellness gift baskets, and celebrity cookbooks to promote healthy living.
Raise Diabetes Awareness by Starting Today
Diabetes is a serious health condition that can have debilitating consequences if left unchecked. It’s important to recognize the risks posed by diabetes and take steps in your workplace to reduce those risks for yourself and colleagues. Take some time this November to think about how you can implement these strategies at your organization to improve overall wellness among all of your colleagues.