During National Diabetes Month this November, the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) will join the International Diabetes Federation to raise awareness of diabetes throughout the month and specifically on World Diabetes Day – Nov. 14. During the month, the NKFM will focus on promoting the importance of screening to diagnose prediabetes and early diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, and treatment to reduce the risk of serious complications.
It’s important for people to pay attention to prediabetes, a condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed with diabetes. In Michigan, over 2.6 million adults have prediabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, without lifestyle changes, 15-30 percent of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years. By eating healthier and getting more physical activity, you can help prevent prediabetes becoming type 2 diabetes in the future.
The Diabetes Prevention Center, a division of the NKFM, also offers the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) in many Michigan communities. In DPP workshops, participants learn how to eat healthy, add physical activity to their routine, manage stress, stay motivated, and solve problems that can get in the way of healthy changes. The program’s group setting provides a supportive environment filled with people who are facing similar challenges and are trying to make the same changes. Together participants celebrate their successes and find ways to overcome obstacles.
Diabetes is a huge and growing burden: more than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, but one in four don’t know they have it. In the state of Michigan, it is estimated that 10.4 percent—or 799,350 of adults—have been diagnosed with diabetes.
Many people live with type 2 diabetes for a long period of time without being aware of their condition. By the time of diagnosis, diabetes complications may already be present, including kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, and blindness. These complications can be prevented or delayed by maintaining blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels as close to normal as possible.
“Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, causing more than 40 percent of all kidney failure cases,” said Dr. Art Franke, senior vice president and chief science officer at the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan. “By focusing on diabetes management and prevention, we are working toward helping people prevent kidney disease altogether.”
Managing your diabetes is a balancing act, but one you can master. Manage your diabetes throughout the day by:
- Following a healthy eating plan, including eating more fruits and vegetables and less sugar and salt.
- Getting physically active—10 to 20 minutes a day is better than only an hour once a week.
- Taking diabetes medicine as prescribed by your doctor.
- Testing your blood sugar regularly to understand and track how food, activity, and medicine affect your blood sugar levels.
For additional diabetes resources, community workshops and more, visit the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan at www.nkfm.org/DiabetesMonth or call 800-482-1455.