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Florida Health In Flagler Recognizes Diabetes Awareness Month

By Gretchen Smith

November 15, 2018

Bunnell, Fla.—The Florida Department of Health in Flagler (DOH-Flagler) recognizes November as Diabetes Awareness Month, a month 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 this year is The Family and Diabetes, strengthening the role of the family in the management, care, prevention, and education of diabetes.

“Diabetes is a growing concern in our community and touches the lives of many,” said Health Administrator Robert Snyder with the Florida Department of Health-Flagler. “While Flagler County is the 14th healthiest county in the state, there is a need to address the growing rate of diabetes locally, particularly since we are trending higher than the state average. DOH-Flagler is now part of Florida Hospital Flagler Foundation’s DiaBEATes Alliance to raise awareness and we are rolling out a Diabetes Self-Management Education program after the first of the year. The new program will teach individuals with diabetes how to improve their health, while also preventing complications associated with the disease.”

To recognize Diabetes Awareness Month, Snyder and colleagues attended several municipal and county events as part of the “Alliance” and the entire staff “went blue” Wednesday, November 14th for World Diabetes Day. (See photos.)

The number of people diagnosed with diabetes has more than tripled in the last 20 years in the U.S. In Florida, it is estimated that over 2.4 million people have diabetes and over 5.8 million have prediabetes. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in Florida.

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.

Due to better treatments, people with diabetes are now living longer—and with a better quality of life—than ever before. Healthy lifestyles can also reduce the impact that diabetes may have on your life. 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.

When your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes you may be at risk for prediabetes. Prediabetes is a serious health condition that increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Eighty-six million American adults have prediabetes. Nine out of 10 people with prediabetes don’t know they have it. Fortunately, making healthy lifestyle choices can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems. A simple blood sugar test to find out if you have prediabetes. Talk to your health care provider if you should be tested.

To learn more about diabetes prevention and self-management, visit www.floridahealth.gov/diabetes.

For more information about National Diabetes Month, visit International Diabetes Federation American Diabetes Association National Diabetes Month 2018 Toolkit

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. You may also learn more at  www.FloridaHealth.gov.

For information about the Florida Department of Health in Flagler, go to flagler.floridahealth.gov, call 386-437-7350, or visit 301 Dr. Carter Blvd. in Bunnell.