Diabetes Awareness Month

It seems a bit ironic that Diabetes Awareness month occurs annually just prior to the holiday season. However, what better time to focus on diabetes? Diabetes is a silent killer which can also destroy your vision. This is one of the reasons why Lions Clubs International has made Diabetes Education and Awareness part of their focus and why the Holliston Lions Club feels it is so important to inform you of the hidden dangers.

Did you know that Diabetes Retinopathy is one of the preventable causes of blindness? A simple, annual eye exam can help you determine if you have diabetes and if you do, having regular eye exams can help you avoid permanent damage.

About one in four Americans who have diabetes also have retinopathy. as many as four percent of those people have what is considered a “severe” case.

Macular edema can also be tied to diabetes. Victims of this suffer from blurred vision caused by leaking and swelling which causes the retina to swell.

What Can You Do?

First, get regular eye exams whether you have been diagnosed with diabetes or not. Many are unaware more than 30 million people live with diabetes. What is even more concerning is there are one if four people who may be diabetic who remain undiagnosed.

Risk factors for diabetes include:
Being over the age of 45
Family history
High Blood pressure
Being overweight

Diabetes CAN be managed with lifestyle changes including changes in your diet, getting regular exercise and taking prescribed medication if you have been diagnosed.

The three most common types of diabetes are:

Type 1 – your body fails to make insulin. While Type 1 is generally diagnosed early in life, anyone can be diagnosed at any time. Type 1 diabetics are insulin dependent.
Type 2 – your body fails to make or use insulin properly. This type of diabetes may develop at any age. This is the most common type of diabetes and in general, is most common is middle-aged and older people.
Gestational diabetes – strikes when women are pregnant. Generally once the baby is born this form of diabetes goes away but leaves women with a long-term risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

You can learn more about Diabetes and Lions efforts by visiting Lions Clubs International website.

Doreen Martel

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