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Diabetes Prevention Month
November 05, 2021
88 Million Americans Have Prediabetes: #88for88
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and this year the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) is teaming up with the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors by spreading the word about the 88 million Americans living with prediabetes. It’s estimated that over 2.4 million Floridians have diabetes and over 5.8 million have prediabetes. The #88for88 challenge aims to bring awareness to this critical health issue by inviting everyone to post 88-character messages on Facebook and Twitter during November.
Diabetes, the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. and Florida, affects how your body turns food into energy. There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational. Type 1 diabetes is when your body doesn’t make insulin, so you must take insulin every day. Type 2 is the most common type where your body makes insulin, but the insulin can’t do its job, so glucose (sugar) is not getting into the cells. Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy in women who don't already have diabetes.
Prediabetes is when blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Prediabetes is a serious health condition that increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke. People with prediabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people with normal blood glucose (blood sugar) levels.
A blood test from a health care provider can determine if someone has pre-diabetes or diabetes. Early treatment for diabetes can prevent serious problems such as vision loss or kidney damage.
A Blood Test is Your First Step Towards Diabetes Prevention
Finding out that you have pre-diabetes is your chance to prevent type 2 diabetes. If you’re overweight and have prediabetes, losing a small amount of weight and adding physical activity to your life can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes. The National Diabetes Prevention Program offers lifestyle change programs created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that focus on healthy eating and physical activity. By following a lifestyle change program, you can lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 58%—71% if you’re age 60 or older.
FDOH works with several partners throughout Florida to increase availability and access to these CDC programs. You can find local programs and services through the FDOH Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) and Diabetes Self-Management Education Support (DSMES). For more information, contact the Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention at 850-245-4330.