World Diabetes Day was November 14. Do you know your risks? Diabetes is a chronic disease where your body isn’t able to produce and use insulin because of high blood sugar levels. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, blindness, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and many other potential complications.
In the United States, 25.8 million people have diabetes. Another 79 million have pre-diabetes, which means that unless they take steps to improve their health, they are likely to develop diabetes.
Diabetes can damage the retina, and if not treated, can lead to blindness. Although the damage usually does not appear until 6-7 years after diagnosis, sometimes diabetes is first suspected due to an eye exam. Diabetic damage to the eyes is the most common cause of vision loss and blindness in Americans under age 70, and the second most common cause in people over 70.
According to the American Diabetes Association:
11.8% ofU.S.men have diabetes
10.8% ofU.S.women have diabetes
Of people over age 65, 26.9% have diabetes
November is National Diabetes Month and your ilumin ophthalmologists take the disease very seriously. November is a great time to raise awareness about the risk of developing diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association offers this quick online test to assess your risk.
Another great resource is the National Diabetes Education Program to help people better understand how to make the necessary changes in their day-to-day life in order to prevent type 2 diabetes, manage their diabetes to prevent complications, and live healthier lives.
Schedule an appointment with ilumin to learn more about your risk.