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Local agencies observe November as National Diabetes Awareness Month

JACKSON, TN ( WNBJ) - Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and many families are affected by this disease every day.

Medical professionals say one out of ten Americans has diabetes and some may not even know it. With this month being National Diabetes Awareness Month physicians and health educators want to bring more attention to this prevalent disease.

“Well, it is estimated that approximately 30 million people have Diabetes Type 2 and maybe another 88 million are prediabetic so that’s a significant number of our population,” said Dr. Kevin Stephens, the Chief Medical Officer with the UnitedHealthcare of the Midsouth.

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce enough insulin to regulate the amount of glucose or sugar in the blood. There are two types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is likely heredity.

Sometimes people develop type 2 later on in life, UnitedHealthcare of the Mid-South talks about some risk factors.

“As you get more weight, as you have a higher carbohydrate and fat diet, and lack of physical activities it just predisposes you to that type of diabetes,” said Dr. Stephens.

The Jackson – Madison County Regional Health Department talks about how common it is in the state and county.

“13 percent of Madison County residents are diagnosed with diabetes whether it is type 1 or 2. Madison County is pretty high in the fact that the state of Tennessee only has 12 percent. Every one and third person is probably walking around and might not know they have diabetes at all,” said Amanda Johnson, a Public Educator with the Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department.

Johnson has actually had diabetes since she was young and says the disease does not stop her from living her life.

“I am a type 1, so the technology is great. It is getting better day by day. That’s why I say you can go out and do anything. This disease does not control me, I control it,” said Johnson.

If you have questions or would like more information about diabetes, please contact the health department.

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