JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The month of November is recognized as National Diabetes Awareness month.

Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy which results in too much sugar in the blood. The breakdowns of sugar are released in the bloodstream. When the blood sugar increases, it signals your pancreas to release insulin.

There are three main types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational. Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction, and Type 2 is when the insulin isn’t taken properly.

Symptoms of diabetes consists of urinating a lot, increase in thirst, tiredness, blurry vision, sores that heal slowly, weight loss, and a numb or tingling sensation through hands and feet.

The purpose of National Diabetes Awareness Month is to educate everyone about diabetes and ways to stay healthy or prevent the disease.

According to Quote Wizard, the number of individuals living with diabetes is on the rise. About forty-million people in the United States have diabetes with 15% of those individuals being from Mississippi. Since 2011, Mississippi has experienced a 23% increase.

Dr. Geri Weiland said starting with a healthy lifestyle is the best way to prevent and control all types of diabetes.

“People with diabetes should monitor their glucose, also following up with your physician is the beneficial way to go as well,” she said.

Weiland said physicians insist on maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle to make sure that a blood sugar level of below six can be detected as that is normal blood sugar levels.

“I know we don’t like to do it but cutting out on fatty foods and making sure that we get the right amount of exercise is the positive direction for preventing diabetes, or possibly going from Type 2 diabetes to Type 1,” she explained.

To learn more about diabetes, click here.