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Are you at risk for diabetes?

Diabetes in Mississippi has reached epidemic proportions, and it is up to all of us to take steps to curb it. There are a staggering 351,000 cases of diabetes in our state. Even more troubling, 117,000 people — a full third of the total — have diabetes but have not yet been diagnosed.

During Diabetes Discovery Week, from March 20 to March 26, the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi urges everyone to take a look at the risk factors for diabetes to see if they have an increased chance of developing the disease. Are you more than 45 years old? Are you overweight or obese? Does anyone in your family have diabetes? Have you given birth to more than one baby weighing over nine pounds? Are you Hispanic/Latino, African-American, Native American or Asian-American? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are at a higher risk for developing diabetes.

Please, for the sake of yourself and your loved ones, take the first step today by talking to your health care provider about your risk factors and what you can do to decrease your chances of developing diabetes.

Early detection and diagnosis of diabetes is absolutely crucial for effective self-care. Diabetes is not something that can be ignored! It will not simply “take care of itself.” If left untreated, diabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, blindness, lower limb amputations and kidney failure; however, its devastating and permanent effects can be prevented if caught in time. You have to take care of yourself, and the time to start is right now.

The Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi will gladly send you free information on diabetes, pre-diabetes, and warning signs of diabetes. Simply call in to 1-877-DFM-CURE (336-2873), visit our website at www.msdiabetes.org, or send an e-mail to msdiabetes@gmail.com for more information!

Dr. Rick Carlton

president, Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi

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