If current trends continues, it’s estimated that nearly one-third of people will have diabetes by 2050. Photo credit: Sriram Bala/Flickr.
The arrival of November means it is American Diabetes Month. It comes as the prevalence of the disease continues to rise across Tennessee and the nation. Meghan Beasy, director of the Memphis chapter of the American Diabetes Association, says the latest numbers show 29 million Americans with diabetes, and the toll on health can be great. “It can affect your heart, your lungs, your legs,” she points out. “We see a lot of people who lose a limb, a leg or a toe to diabetes. You also have quite a bit of eyesight – eye loss.” Beasy says about 95 percent of people with diabetes have Type 2, which healthier lifestyle choices with nutrition and physical activity can help prevent. Beasy notes that even some simple, small changes with healthy eating and regular exercise can yield big results. “The idea is that you want to control the blood sugar,” she explains. “So, maintaining a good diet and a good exercise regime helps maintain that blood sugar level and keep it level, which is what you want to see.” If the current trends don’t change, it’s estimated that by 2050, 30 percent of all Americans will have diabetes.