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National Diabetes Month focuses on raising awareness and healthy changes in November

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Each November, communities across the country bring attention to diabetes by observing National Diabetes Month.

To raise awareness about diabetes and healthy living, Hearthstone Communities is proudly participating in American Diabetes Month.

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. One in 10 Americans have diabetes and another 84 million adults are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to the National Health Information Center.

In Illinois, over 12 percent of the adult population has diabetes, and in addition, over 37 percent have prediabetes with blood glucose levels higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.

Every year, an estimated 66,000 people in Illinois are diagnosed with diabetes.

Hearthstone Communities is using this month to encourage people to make healthy changes.

Depending on your age, weight, and other factors, you may be at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The good news is that making healthy changes can greatly lower your risk! To help prevent type 2 diabetes, watch your weight, eat healthy and get more physical activity.

Eating healthy is important because what you eat affects your blood sugar. Add plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains to your diet, and choose nonfat dairy and lean meats. Remember to limit foods that are high in sugar and fat.

Physical activity is also key. Just 30 minutes of activity helps you control your diabetes by bringing down your blood sugar. It also helps you lose extra pounds.

Being overweight is a big risk factor. According to a study by the Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group, for every kilogram of weight loss, there was a 16% reduction in risk, adjusted for changes in diet and activity.

Just a few small changes can have a big impact on your weight and health. Set realistic goals. Don’t try to do too much too quickly!

Hearthstone Communities, 920 North Seminary Avenue, Woodstock, IL 60098, 815-338-2110, www.hearthstonewoodstock.org.

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