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November: Diabetes Awareness Month


November was Diabetes Awareness Month. The disease presents itself by not allowing a person to properly digest glucose, causing blood sugar levels to rise. Higher blood sugar levels can cause a number of health-related problems.

Oneida county numbers show one in nine adults over age 20 has either Type I or Type II diabetes. Forty years from now, that number could grow to one in five.

Jennifer Mikulich...a Registered Dietician and diabetes educator from Aspirus in Wausau says it's thought up to 7 million people might have one form of diabetes and not know it. She says they might not necessarily feel sick...


"....they feel fine and they may go undiagnosed for a very long period of time. The consequence of that is when you are running high blood sugars for an extended period of time, it can affect all parts of our body. It can affect our heart, eyesight, and our kidneys. It is not a disease we should take lightly...."

With most Type I cases, the body stops making insulin to control blood sugars and requires injections of insulin. The person might have a thirst and lose weight quickly, among other symptoms. Mikulich says Type II finds the body making some insulin, but not enough to cover the food being taken in. That is often a problem among obese people. She says if there is a family history of diabetes to get screened by a physician.

With the holidays here, she says weight gain could lead to complications...


"....that weight gain can increase someone's risk for developing Type II diabetes so learning about what foods affect blood sugar, learning about portion control, learning how to read food labels are all things people can do...."

Mikulich says if you want more information, the Diabetes Association website...at Diabetes.org....has much information or contact your health provider.

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