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Fast Facts About Diabetes

The diabetes rate in Chicago is 10%, but in the areas surrounding UI Health, it’s much higher — ranging from 20–37%. As rates continue to increase, especially among African-American and Hispanic patient populations, the Diabetes Center & Endocrinology Clinic at UI Health is sharpening its focus on diabetes prevention, education, and management. It’s our goal to create healthier patients — and a healthier Chicago.

Symptoms of Diabetes

Common symptoms of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes that develop over a short period of time include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger
  • Weight loss
  • Blurry vision
  • Poor healing

But you can have diabetes without presenting any symptoms. Often, it begins as prediabetes — a condition where the blood sugar level is higher than normal but not yet in the diabetic range. Individuals are considered to be prediabetic when blood sugar or glucose levels are between 100–125 mg/dL; your provider has a few simple tests that can determine if you have prediabetes.

There is a 50% chance that individuals with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years.

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Preventing Diabetes

Small changes to your diet and fitness routine can cut your risk of diabetes in half.

For example, just 150 minutes of physical activity a week can help you control your weight and reduce diabetes-related conditions. A 10-minute walk after each meal is a great place to start.

Losing just 7% of your bodyweight — 15 pounds for a 200-pound individual — can decrease the risk of diabetes by 58%.

In addition, making healthier diet choices — low-carb foods, fewer overall calories, more vegetables, more water — will reduce your risk.

Use tech to your advantage. Use apps to track your activity and meals and stay on top of your medical appointments and medications.

The Power of a Comprehensive Diabetes Team

The Diabetes Center & Endocrinology Clinic at UI Health is on your partner in preventing and managing diabetes! 

We are committed team of physicians, certified diabetes educators, nurses, registered dietitians, insurance coordinators, psychologists, and patient navigators all dedicated to ensure our patients receive the best care possible. 

Our Diabetes Education Program is certified by the American Diabetes Association, providing patients the education and support they need to manage their diabetes. We have relationships with other specialty programs at UI Health to coordinate the care needs of each unique patient.

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