Diabates is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States and the Genesee County Health Department is promoting American Diabetes Awareness Month. According to a news release from the GCHD, one in 12 Amercans has diabetes and another 79 million adults are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In Genesee County alone, 13% of residents have been diagnosed. Diabetes Awareness Month is an effort to remind people about the warning signs and risk factors and encourage individuals to make healthier choice to prevent the early onset of diabetes.

Diabetes is caused when the body is not making enough insulin or the insulin is not working as it should. High amounts of sugar build up in the blood and can cause damage to the eyes, kidneys and other serious health problems. Some of the warning signs include weight loss, extreme thirst or hunger, frequent urination and sudden vision changes. Risk factors include obesity, family history, race, physical activity and smoking. Those with a family history if diabetes are encouraged to get routine check ups, eat fruit and vegetables and get active.

There is no cure for diabetes, but there have been advancements with the treatment of those living with it. The GCHD suggests visiting www.cdc.gov or www.nkfm.org for more information and support.