Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona- November is American Diabetes Month

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona is a paid advertiser of Sonoran Living Live

November is American Diabetes Month. An estimated 26 million people in the U.S. have diabetes today, and an astounding 79 million are at risk. But there are ways to lower your risk for the disease.

Diabetes occurs when the body is not able to use or produce insulin correctly. As a result, glucose builds up in the bloodstream, when it should have been transported into cells for use in creating energy.

Type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in children and young adults. In this form, the body does not produce insulin. The more common form - Type 2 - is found in adults and is characterized by the body not recognizing insulin.

While there is some genetic component to diabetes, you can reduce your risk for contracting the illness.

Dr. Daniel Aspery of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona notes that there are three ways that everyone can live healthier and decrease their risk for many illnesses, including diabetes.

1.    Exercise.
2.    Maintain a healthy weight.
3.    Eat a balanced diet; limit sugary foods and drinks.

Symptoms to watch for include a frequent need to urinate, excessive thirst, unusual hunger, unexplained weight loss, fatigue and irritability. However, many people have no symptoms at all. That makes it especially important to know your risk and talk with your doctor about whether you should be tested.

Many Arizonans should also note that certain ethnicities are at a higher risk of developing diabetes. African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans should be particularly cautious.

Diabetes is a serious illness with long-term consequences if it's not managed properly. But that doesn't mean that anyone is destined to get it. With a few healthy lifestyle changes, most people can avoid a diagnosis no one wants to get.

*This is not a medical recommendation, anyone with concerns or questions about their health should contact their physician. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona is an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Source: American Diabetes Association

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona is a paid advertiser of Sonoran Living Live

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