For National Diabetes Month, NIH urges actions to reach health goals

NIH News: 11/2/12

In observance of National Diabetes Month, including World Diabetes Day on Nov. 14, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) urges people to take action and make simple but important lifestyle changes to achieve their health goals — whether they have diabetes or are at risk for the disease.

Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not make insulin. People with type 1 need to take daily insulin to live. In type 2 diabetes — the most common type, which has risen in incidences along with the obesity epidemic — the body does not make or use insulin well. People with type 2 may need to take pills or insulin to manage the disease. A third type, gestational diabetes, occurs in some women during pregnancy. It usually goes away after the birth, but these women and their children have a greater chance of getting type 2 diabetes later in life.

Left untreated, diabetes can lead to serious complications, such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and amputation. An estimated 79 million adults have prediabetes, a condition that places them at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Read more