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Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie Recognizes World Diabetes Day

By Arlease Hall

November 14, 2017

The Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie recognizes today as World Diabetes Day, a day set aside every year to raise awareness about diabetes and promote the importance of taking steps to confront diabetes as a critical health issue. The theme for World Diabetes Day 2017 is Women and Diabetes, highlighting the importance of access to essential diabetes medicines, technologies and self-management education for women.

"Diabetes is a major health concern, and people with diabetes are twice as likely to have heart disease or a stroke as people without diabetes; and at an earlier age. When we look at some of the numbers, St. Lucie's hospitalizations from amputation of a lower extremity attributable to diabetes is lower than the State of Florida, however, we still have a monumental task ahead of us. So learn more about prediabetes find out if you are at risk and take advantage of our programs listed to keep you on track, said Clint Sperber, Health Officer and Administrator of Florida Department of Health in St Lucie County.

In Florida, it is estimated that over 2.4 million people have diabetes and over 5.8 million have prediabetes, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. The number of people diagnosed with diabetes has more than tripled in the last 20 years in the U.S.

There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant). Women with diabetes have more difficulty conceiving and may have poor pregnancy outcomes, so it is especially important for women to be aware of their risk factors for developing diabetes, including having a family history of diabetes as well as age, weight and physical activity level.

There isn't a cure yet for diabetes, but a healthy lifestyle can really reduce its impact on your life. Thanks to better treatments, people with diabetes are now living longer and with a better quality of life; than ever before. A blood test from your health care provider can determine if you have diabetes. Early treatment can prevent serious problems diabetes can cause, such as loss of eyesight or kidney damage.

Join Healthy St. Lucie collaborative for our Billion Step Challenge the (5210) program - with (5) or more fruits and vegetables, (2) hours or less recreational screen time, (1) hour or more of a physical activity and (0) sugary drinks, more water.

To learn more about diabetes prevention and self-management, visit www.floridahealth.gov/diabetes. For more information about World Diabetes Day, visit http://www.worlddiabetesday.org/.