November was American Diabetes Month. Chances are you know someone who has diabetes, a metabolic disorder affecting more than 37 million Americans, including those who have the disease but have not been diagnosed.
Diabetes is a chronic medical condition that occurs when excess glucose (sugar) builds up in the blood. It can cause numerous health problems if not properly managed. Some symptoms of diabetes may seem so insignificant that you may not even notice them for months or years — but being diagnosed early is key to a lifetime of better health.
If left untreated, long-term diabetes complications include cardiovascular disease, such as heart attack, stroke and narrowing of the arteries, according to dietitian Katy Stemple, MDA, RDN, manager of the Abrazo Health Medical and Surgical Weight Loss Program.