SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year, that’s according to the American Diabetes Association. November is American Diabetes Month, a good time to bring awareness to this chronic disease.
Dr. Cesar Hurtado works at Family Medicine in Springdale with Northwest Health. He says diabetes is a condition that develops when your body is not processing sugar the way it should. It isn’t producing enough insulin or isn’t able to use it properly.
Now there are different types of diabetes but type 2 is most common.
He adds that some groups are more at risk to get diabetes in their lifetime. That includes African Americans, Hispanics & Latinos, and pacific islanders to name a few. For some, it runs in their families, it’s genetics while for others it’s because of poor lifestyle choices.
Early detection of diabetes is important to prevent complications like stroke, kidney failure, or blindness.
“We love eating cookies we love eating pizza, but if we eat way too much of it and we don’t exercise we have a really high risk of developing diabetes,” said Dr. Hurtado.
He says poor diet, and being overweight play a major role. People who don’t exercise and live a very inactive lifestyle are more prone to getting diabetes.
Dr. Hurtado’s advice is to maintain a healthy weight, get moving and exercise for t least 30 minutes most days of the week.
A well-balanced diet with plenty of fruit, veggies, whole grain and healthy fats and drinking plenty of water also goes a long way.
“If you control diabetes you can live a completely normal life. You can be without medication, or you can be with just one medication… But if you don’t control diabetes, diabetes will def control you,” said Hurtado.
Managing your diabetes also means keeping track of your glucose level, cholesterol and blood pressure. You also want to stay on top of your medication and keep up with your doctor visits.