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Diabetes: Know your risks, your options

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

HOPE for diabetes awareness


November is upon us, and it's American Diabetes Month, a time to bring awareness to the growing public health crisis of diabetes. 


According to the American Diabetes Association, almost 1 in 11 Americans, or 34 million Americans, has diabetes!  Another 88 million American adults have prediabetes, which means their blood glucose is higher than normal. 


Early detection and intervention are key in fighting this disease.


Are you at risk?


The American Diabetes Association has a Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test that asks simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors for diabetes.  After taking the test, you are given a risk score along with risk factors that contributed to that score.


Risk factors


Some risks that affect type 2 diabetes can be changed, and some, like your age, can’t.  It’s important to be aware of the ways you contribute to increasing your risk for this disease in order to make lifestyle changes that can impact your future.


  • Being overweight
  • Having high blood glucose (blood sugar)
  • History of diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes)
  • High blood pressure
  • Having unhealthy cholesterol
  • Being physically inactive
  • Smoking
  • Eating unhealthy foods
  • Age, race, gender and family history

Already struggle with type 2 diabetes?


 If you are one of the millions of Americans who already are battling type 2 diabetes, managing it can be a balancing act - food, activity, medicine and blood sugar levels all need to monitored. 


Weight loss surgery can be another option.  Dr. Daniel T. McKenna, a bariatric surgeon with Aurora BayCare General & Vascular Surgery in Green Bay, discusses this treatment option and its potential effect on diabetes.