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Illinois health officials expect a rise in diabetes

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Health officials are estimating diabetes to increase 25 percent in Illinois.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, it is expected that by 2020 the number of diagnosed cases of diabetes will have risen by 25 percent.

Diabetes is described by the health department as “a serious chronic disease caused when blood sugar (glucose) levels are above normal” and insulin cannot help get glucose into the cells, causing a build-up of sugar in the blood.

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck said over 827,000 Illinois adults have been diagnosed with diabetes and more than 2,700 Illinois residents die from the disease each year. Dr. Hasbrouck recommends that everyone learn how to control the risk of developing diabetes.

“First, learn your numbers – weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels – and then talk with your health care professional about what you can do to make sure those numbers are at a healthy level.”

The department said major risk factors for developing the disease include obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, diet, age, and family history. Signs include increased thirst, increased urination, increased hunger, weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, and frequent infections or wounds that are slow to heal.

Some lifestyle changes can help prevent diabetes. Recommendations by the health department are watching your weight- setting realistic yet meaningful weight loss goals, eating a healthy diet- a registered dietitian who specializes in diabetes can help, being active- 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days per week, and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol- consult a primary care physician.

For information about how to control and prevent diabetes, click here. You can also take a 7-question test to determine your probability of developing diabetes.