LEXINGTON PARK, Md. – In honor of American Diabetes Month, MedChi wants to use this month to raise awareness about diabetes risk factors and encourage people to make healthy changes. MedChi has worked closely with their affiliate, Sugar Free Kids, which is a statewide coalition that was established in 2014 and has been the state’s leading voice in the fight against childhood obesity and teenage diabetes.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects how your body turns food into energy. Most of the food you eat is broken down into sugar and released into your bloodstream. Your pancreas makes a hormone called insulin. If you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use the insulin it makes as well as it should.

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. One in 10 Americans have diabetes — that’s more than 30 million people. Another 84 million adults in the United States are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes; your age, weight, and other factors, give you a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The good news is that making healthy changes can greatly lower your risk of developing diabetes.

To help prevent type 2 diabetes:

·Avoid concentrated sweets and sugary beverages such as regular soda, juice and sport drinks.

·Watch your weight by eating healthy and doing more physical activity.

·Make small changes like taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

·Get regular check-ups with your physician that checks blood pressure and cholesterol.

Dr. Ben Stallings, new President of MedChi, states “Millions of people around the world live with diabetes or know someone living with diabetes. Regardless of the type of diabetes, diabetes isn’t yet a curable disease, but it is a very treatable disease, and no matter how scary and frustrating it can be, people with diabetes can live long, healthy, and happy lives.”