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Diabetes month prompts awareness

Residents came out Sunday for Oxford’s Walk for Diabetes. The walk joined friends, neighbors, University of Mississippi students and athletes.

It was the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi’s 19th annual walk and this year’s theme was “Let’s Tame Diabetes.”

November is the national Diabetes  Awareness Month, and the walk helps celebrate the DFM’s month-long campaign to raise awareness about type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Also active in educating residents during the month is the YMCA. The organization is engaging residents in its diabetes prevention program, due to a spike in the amount of people diagnosed with prediabetes.

According to the YMCA,

• The number of type 2 diabetes cases continues to grow, fueled in part by a continued rise in the rate of obesity. More than 29 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with diabetes and more than 86 million people have prediabetes.

• During National Diabetes Awareness Month, we encourage all community members to take control of their health and learn their risk for type 2 diabetes by visiting www.ymca.net/diabetes.

• Type 2 diabetes not only affects you, but your family as well. Improving one’s health can have a positive effect on children and other adults in the household.

• New statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that 86 million people in the U.S. have prediabetes, up from 79 million people in 2010. Without weight loss and moderate physical activity, 15 to 30 percent of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years.

• Having prediabetes means a person has elevated blood glucose levels that are not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. While only a blood test by a health care provider can confirm prediabetes, a person’s family history, weight and high cholesterol levels are just a few of the factors that can put an individual in the high-risk category. 

Diabetes, while becoming common these days, is a serious health issue that impacts a person’s well-being and has ramifications on a family. Use this month as an opportunity to learn more about the disease, especially warning signs, so that you can keep healthy and watch out for the health of friends and family.