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November is National Diabetes Awareness Month
15 November 2004
By Kim Hinnenkamp, UTTC Extension Program

      Diabetes is a disease, which affects over 17 million Americans and contributes to almost 450,000 deaths a year. Native American people are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. This disease is affecting their communities in epidemic proportions throughout the country. On the average, Native Americans are twice as likely to have diabetes than whites. It is also now affecting large numbers of Indian children.

      Do you know if diabetes is a concern for you or your family? Listed below are some of the factors that increase your risk of developing diabetes and some of the symptoms.

Risks of Developing Diabetes

  • Are you over the age of 40?
  • Are you overweight?
  • Are you inactive?
  • Are you a woman who has had a baby that weighed more than nine pounds at birth?
  • Are you of Native American ancestry?
  • Do you have a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes?

Symptoms of Having Type 2 Diabetes

  • Feeling thirsty
  • Losing weight when you are not trying to
  • Needing to urinate (pass water) often
  • Feeling tired most of the time
  • Feeling hungry
  • No symptoms at all, but are at risk when blood sugar is high (which damages blood vessels)

      If you have any of these risk factors or symptoms, you should have your blood sugar tested. On campus, you can go to the Student Health Center (Education Bldg., Extension 1247) and be tested for FREE. It is important for everyone to have their blood sugar levels tested at least once per year.

      For more information on diabetes, call Kim Hinnenkamp, UTTC Extension Program at ext. 1397 or stop by her office in the Skill Center (Room 115).


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