I was a little alarmed when I read an article recently which referred to diabetes as a “national pandemic.” Defined as a widespread epidemic which affects a large population, my first thought was that this label was used a little too loosely. However, the more you research Diabetes statistics, the more appropriate the use of the word in the U.S. seems.

According to research compiled by the American Diabetes Association, 26 million children and adults in the U.S. suffer from diabetes, and people are being diagnosed at a rate of 1.9 million new cases each year. These statistics are unnerving to say the least.

Diabetes, the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S., is becoming an increasing cause for concern as 79 million people are currently classified as “prediabetics.” It is the leading cause of kidney failure and greatly increases the likelihood of heart disease and stroke.

So what can we do? The good news is…with the right education and lifestyle adjustments, we can do a lot to control and manage diabetes, as it is both treatable and preventable. The first indicator is the most obvious–check your waistline. People with a body mass index greater than 30 (that’s one in every three Americans) are 400% more likely to get Diabetes. Healthy eating adjustments and exercise routines is the easiest and arguably most effective way to prevent diabetes. It’s also essential to learn more about the symptoms of  diabetes, as early intervention can prevent the more serious consequences, such as loss of vision, amputation, and shorter life span.

Read more on ways that you can take control of your health and manage or prevent Diabetes!