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Ask A Dietitian: Could I Have Diabetes?

As we get in gear for another holiday season, take a moment to remember that November is also American Diabetes Month. Nearly 26 million Americans are living with diabetes and about 25 percent of them don’t even know it. In Oklahoma, one in every ten adults is diagnosed with diabetes.

So use this month to become diabetes aware – find out your risk, know the signs and learn how to prevent this disease. You may be at higher risk for diabetes if:

  • You are over the age of 45
  • Have a family history
  • Are overweight
  • Are physically inactive
  • You’re ethnic background is Hispanic/Latino American, African American, Asian American, American Indian, Pacific Islander or Alaska Native.

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not make or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is important for converting glucose into energy. Without insulin or proper use of insulin, blood glucose (blood sugar) rises. Signs of this happening include:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Fatigue or irritability
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent infections or cuts/bruises that are slow to heal

The keys to preventing diabetes include getting regular exercise, eating a well balanced diet, and maintaining a healthy weight. For more information on diabetes you can visit www.diabetes.org and to get some great meal planning tips visit www.choosemyplate.gov.

For nutritional counseling, Norman Regional Health System offers the guidance of registered dietitians. Those interested can schedule an appointment for an assessment with a referral from their family physician.

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For More Information

Contact Kelly Wells
Norman Regional Health System

Office (405) 307.2143
Fax (405) 307.2144
Email NRHS_Corporate_Communications@nrh-ok.com