Florida Recognizes November As American Diabetes Month

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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The Florida Department of Health (DOH) recognizes November as American Diabetes Month and urges Floridians and their loved ones who have diabetes to take small steps to increase their quality of life and prevent or delay complications. Diabetes is a major public health crisis of the 21st century, which continues to grow in epidemic proportions. Over 1.5 million Floridians have diabetes and about 3.5 million obese adults are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

"Having diabetes places an individual at increased risk for a number of serious, even life-threatening complications such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, blindness or amputation of the foot or leg," said Betsy Wood, R.N., M.P.H., Chief of the DOH Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. "Smoking increases the risks of these complications."

DOH recommends the following steps to help Floridians control diabetes:

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* Ask your doctor for assistance in getting diabetes self-management education.

* If you smoke, it's never too late to quit. Contact Florida's Quitline for free guidance at 1-877-U-CAN-NOW.

* Remember the ABCs of diabetes care: Learn your A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol goals and ask your doctor how you can achieve them.

Several studies have found that diabetes self-management education is associated with improved blood sugar control, fewer hospitalizations, lower self-reported weight and improved quality of life. Diabetes self-management education is covered by insurance and Medicare.

Smoking increases cholesterol levels, blood pressure and blood sugar levels and doubles the risk of cardiovascular disease among those with diabetes. Overall, adults with diabetes who smoke are three times more likely than their non-smoking counterparts to die from cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, smoking has been found to be associated with an increased risk of foot ulcers, which may lead to infections and amputations.

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