There are 34.2 million Americans with diabetes, and 88 million American adults (nearly 1 in 3) who qualify as prediabetic. New diagnosed cases are sharply on the rise among American youth.

November is National Diabetes Month, a time to draw attention to this disease and what it means for a rising portion of our population. It’s a serious condition that can lead to damage of the large blood vessels of the heart, brain, and legs. It can lead to damage of the small blood vessels in the eyes, kidneys, and feet.

Over time, this damage can lead to heart attack, stroke, and problems with the kidneys, eyes, gums, feet, and nerves. National Diabetes Month is also a time to call attention to living a healthier lifestyle, which helps with both disease management and prevention.

Keeping Diabetes in Check

Insulin is used to keep blood sugar levels, and diabetes in check, for many Americans. For some, insulin may not be required. Many are able to keep their diabetes in check through healthy eating and an active lifestyle. This is accomplished when blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol levels are all kept within the recommended range.

A few key factors to keep diabetes in check through lifestyle include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Reducing alcohol intake
  • Not smoking

Regular check-ups with the physician are also important in monitoring diabetes, to ensure that any disease progress is caught early.

Healthy Diet and Exercise for Diabetes

If you are diabetic or pre-diabetic, a healthy diet and exercise are crucial to disease management. Healthy foods can help to control your blood glucose and cholesterol levels, key parts of disease management. It’s also important to avoid sugary snacks and desserts.

Exercise is also a key piece of disease management. Between 30 and 60 minutes of moderate physical activity per day can help with weight management.

Recognizing National Diabetes Month

National Diabetes Month is a time to draw attention to this serious medical condition that many Americans are living with, or are in jeopardy of developing. For many, insulin is a necessary part of disease management. Others may be able to accomplish this by living a healthier lifestyle.