RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Health officials are sounding the alarm on type 2 diabetes as 34 million Americans live with it. November marks Diabetes Awareness Month and officials say the number of people with the disease continues growing.
"In type 2 diabetes, there's what we call insulin resistance. So your body may be able to make insulin, but it's unable to use that insulin efficiently," said Dr. Leonor Corsino, Duke Hospital Endocrinologist, who also serves on the North Carolina Diabetes Advisory Council.
About 40 percent of American adults will develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetime, but if you're a man or minority, your chances increase.
Data from the CDC shows nearly 15 percent of Native Americans have diabetes, 12 percent of Hispanics, about 12 percent of African Americans, nine percent of Asians and almost 8 percent Whites. Experts have several reasons as to why this disease affects ethnic minorities more.
"Living in poverty plays a big role as to why some marginalized communities have more prevalence. Also, its lack of access to exercise and access to healthy foods," said Corsino.
According to Corsino, you should try living a healthy lifestyle that includes exercising and avoiding junk foods. If you experience any of these symptoms, see your doctor. It's a disease that affects every organ in the body, but she says the key is keeping your blood sugar levels under control.
"Blurred vision, going to the restroom to urinate more than usual, feeling hungry or you are having unintentional weight loss. Those are signs you have diabetes and don't know it," said Corsino.