Letter: November is diabetes awareness month

Dear Editor:

November has been designated as National Awareness Month for diabetes.

Nearly 26 million children and adults have diabetes and an additional 79 million are at-risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes. This disease is taking a devastating physical, emotional and financial toll on our country. Most Americans don’t consider diabetes a serious matter.

The Tennerton Lions Club wants to raise awareness about the importance of knowing the risk factors and symptoms associated with diabetes, as well as, its serious and life-threatening complications; such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease and amputation.

Diabetes is dangerous because high blood sugar isn’t usually something you can feel. Many people have no outward type 2 diabetes symptoms at all and can go years without being diagnosed.

That’s why it’s important to be aware of the type 2 diabetes symptoms and risk factors for diabetes. Get screened by a health provider if you have the following type 2 diabetes symptoms: Being unusually thirsty, having to urinate often, feeling hungry all the time, losing weight (without trying), having blurry vision, or feeling very tired, frequent infections, cuts and sores that heal slowly.

Certain lifestyle and genetic risk factors for Type 2 diabetes are: if you are over 45 years of age, are overweight, have a family member with diabetes, are not physically active, are of African-American, Latino, Native American, Asian American or Pacific Islander, have had a baby weighing more than 9 pounds, have high blood pressure, have low good cholesterol, or have high levels of fats in the blood.

Diabetes is the number one cause of blindness in America. If you are overweight and have one or more of the other risk factor listed, the American Diabetes Association suggests that you be tested for diabetes now.

Frank A. Becker