2013-11-28 / Community

Support crucial in diabetes fight

LANSING – Family support is essential to staying healthy for people living with diabetes or at risk for type 2 diabetes. In Michigan, an estimated one out of every 10 Michigan adults aged 18 and older have been diagnosed with diabetes (about 758,300 people) and 2.6 million Michigan adults are estimated to have prediabetes, putting them at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

In observance of November being National Diabetes Month, the Michigan Department of Community Health and the National Diabetes Education Program want Michigan residents to know that Diabetes is a Family Affair. MDCH, NDEP and its partners are working with individuals, families and communities to take action and encourage simple, but important lifestyle changes to improve their health – particularly if they have diabetes or are at risk for the disease.

“Whether family means loved ones at home, school, work, place of worship, or in the community, having a support system is an important part of staying healthy,” said James Haveman, Director of the Michigan Department of Community Health. “There are many resources available to help people work together to improve their health to prevent diabetes and its complications.”

Diabetes is a challenging disease that affects the entire family in many ways. For people with diabetes and their families, it’s important to work together to manage diabetes and prevent serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, and nerve damage that can lead to amputation. People with diabetes who have a strong family support system are better able to cope with the day-to-day challenges associated with the disease.

It’s also important to know that having a family history of diabetes, such as a mother, father, brother or sister with type 2 diabetes, puts you at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The good news is that families can take small, but important steps to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes.

This November, Michigan residents are encouraged to use the NDEP resources that are available to individuals, families, and communities to take action in the fight against diabetes. For more information about diabetes in Michigan, visit www.michigan. gov/ diabetes or www.YourDiabetesInfo.org/ DiabetesMonth2013.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Diabetes Education Program is jointly sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with the support of more than 200 partner organizations.

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