(BREESE, IL)  – November is American Diabetes Month and the health care experts at HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Breese are working to increase awareness about diabetes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 30.3 million people in the United States (9.4 percent of the population) have diabetes, including 7.2 million who are unaware they are living with the disease. The percentage of adults with diabetes increases with age, reaching a high of 25.2% among those aged 65 years or older. In addition to age, risk factors for diabetes include diet, activity level, obesity and heredity.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, meaning that your body doesn’t use insulin properly. It is also largely preventable through regular physical activity and a healthy and balanced diet.

“Eating a healthy balanced diet is less complicated than you think,” says Megan Stanley, RN, diabetes educator for St. Joseph’s. “Eat plenty of non-starchy vegetables—half your plate.  Choose lean sources of protein such as fish, poultry and lean cuts of pork and beef.  Avoid sources of added sugars especially sugar-sweetened beverages like regular soda, sweet tea, and energy drinks.”

Knowing the symptoms of diabetes can be helpful in the prevention and treatment of the disease. Symptoms can be mild and go unnoticed, but they include:

·         Frequent urination

·         Feeling thirsty

·         Feeling hungry, even when eating

·         Extreme fatigue

·         Blurry vision

·         Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal

·         Weight loss

·         Tingling, pain or numbness in hands and feet

Because these symptoms could be caused by a number of things, talk with your doctor if any of these symptoms persist for you. 

Managing and understanding diabetes can be a challenge, so St. Joseph’s Hospital Breese offers a Diabetes Support Group to provide tools and tips on how to handle the more complex and difficult task of diabetes in the context of real life. The Diabetes Support Group is open to those with diabetes and their family members. Caregivers are also invited. The next session is scheduled for January 13 at 2 p.m. in the hospital’s Heritage Room. For more information, contact Megan Stanley at 618-526-5743 or megan.stanley@hshs.org. Registration is not required to attend.

Media Contact

Ashley Gramann

Manager, Communications
HSHS Illinois
Office: (618) 526-5439
ashley.gramann@hshs.org

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