JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – November is National Diabetes Month, and health officials are asking Mississippians to get tested. According to reports, Mississippi has the highest rate of diabetes in the country.
“We have some high-risk groups. Our Native American, Black, African American, Latino and Hispanic ethnic groups are all more likely to have type two diabetes. I mean let’s face it, we all love the Southern food and Southern cuisine, but sometimes it may not be the healthiest for us,” said Associate Director of the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi Irene McClain.
This year, the focus of National Diabetes Month is on prediabetes. The condition means that blood-sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly one in three adults in the United States has prediabetes, and a majority don’t know it because the symptoms are subtle.
Since symptoms are often overlooked, officials recommend that adults and children get bloodwork done by their doctor at least once a year.
Diabetes is largely influenced by genetics, but there are steps you can take to avoid development of the condition.
“Being aware of your family history is very important. Eating healthy and exercising are two of the most important ones. Check with your doctor before you start an exercise program, but do what you need to do to take care of yourself because there’s only one you,” said McClain.
Learn more about diabetes here.