November is National Diabetes Month, a time to become educated on the disease which leads to life-threatening complications.

Many Americans have been diagnosed with the disease and many more are estimated to have it but are not aware they do. Diabetes leads to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, even blindness. And older adults are particularly at risk for amputation.

Diabetes is also one of the leading causes of hospitalizations and medical treatments in America, which makes it one of the most costly contributors to our nation’s health-care woes.

It is also one of the diseases listed as a contributing factor to COVID-19 hospitalizations and death.

Type I diabetes typically affects children and young adults while Type 2 diabetes affects adults, generally who have other health issues or contributing health-related factors such as obesity.

While there is no cure for the disease, if risk factors are identified and treated early enough, the disease can be prevented in many cases. For example, obesity can be reversed in time to prevent the onset of the disease.

Your chances for developing diabetes also increase if a family member has been diagnosed, so early screening is recommended.

If you are at risk for the disease and want to know if you have it, seek medical attention. A doctor can determine if you have diabetes and offer treatment.

In some cases, medication, diet and exercise can curb or even stop diabetes. Take the time to determine your next course of action. 

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