November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. In the United States, more than 100 million people are living with diabetes or prediabetes; that’s nearly 1 out of every 11 people with diabetes, with 1 out of 4 unaware they have the condition. Awareness of the disease cannot only prevent future cases for those at risk, but also help raise funds to develop new treatments for those living with diabetes.

There are different types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes presents with the body not making insulin, and those diagnosed must take insulin injections every day. Only 5% of those diagnosed with diabetes have type 1, and there is no known method to cure or prevent type 1 diabetes. With type 2 diabetes, one’s body doesn’t use insulin well and is unable to keep blood sugar at normal levels. Type 2 diabetes has a number of risk factors:

  • Being overweight;
  • Being 45 years or older;
  • Having parents or a sibling diagnosed with type 2 diabetes,
  • Being physically active less than three times per week.

Race and ethnicity also can affect one’s risk. African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and some Asian Americans are at particularly high risk for type 2 diabetes. Preventing type 2 diabetes can be as easy as eating healthy

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With approximately 29 million Americans affected by diabetes, or 9.3 percent of the U.S. population, the costs associated with the disease are a growing problem. As of 2012, the total healthcare costs for diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. is roughly $245 billion, an increase of 41 percent since 2007, and according to the American Diabetes Association, a person with diabetes spends on average $13,700 per year on care.

National Diabetes Month, held every November, is a time of year to raise awareness about diabetes prevention and treatment, and also to discuss how high care costs can undermine efforts to manage diabetes. That’s why we’re co-hosting a webinar with Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs on “Lowering Costs for Type 2 Diabetes Care.”

Detecting it early on is both lifesaving as well as money-saving. If you suspect you might have diabetes (read about symptoms here), schedule an appointment with your doctor right away and get tested.  If it turns out you do have diabetes, talk with your doctor

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