Diabetes

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In 2011, the CDC reported that almost 29.1 million Americans have diabetes - one out of every 11 people. Millions more Americans are at risk to develop diabetes.

In 2010, approximately 79 million American adults were estimated to have prediabetes. People with prediabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. However, progression to diabetes is not inevitable. If you do have prediabetes, research shows that doing just two things can help you prevent or delay type 2 diabetes: Lose 5% to 7% of your body weight, which would be 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person; and get at least 150 minutes each week of physical activity, such as brisk walking.

What is Diabetes?


Diabetes occurs when the body does not produce or properly use insulin.Insulin is the hormone needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into the energy we need for daily life. An important role in controlling blood sugar is restricting the amount of carbohydrates that are consumed. Simple carbohydrates that are difficult for diabetics to burn and use for energy include most unsweetened, and un-refined (non whole grain) products such as white rice, pasta, soft and hard pretzels, white bread and other food products made mostly of white flour. Simple carbohydrates also include candy, honey, soda, donuts, cakes, syrups, and both white and brown sugar. Diet plays a critical role in the life of a diabetic. When blood sugar levels are high for long periods of time, other issues can occur:
  • Kidney Disease
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Nerve damage
  • Increased risk for Infections
  • Cardiovascular disease

What is Pre Diabetes?


A person with prediabetes has a blood sugar level higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. He or she is at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems, including heart disease, and stroke. Take the quiz and find out if you have pre-Diabetes.

Who is at risk for Diabetes? 


Diabetes is more common among African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Risk for the disease increases with age, excessive weight gain, and prolonged inactivity. The risk factors for diabetes include: 
  • High blood pressure (at or above 130/80)
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Having diabetes during pregnancy
  • Having a baby weighing more than nine pounds

What are the signs of Diabetes? 


Most people with diabetes do not recognize the signs. If you should experience any of these symptoms, contact your physician: 
  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Blurred vision

What can you do to lower the risk for Diabetes?


  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Eat a low fat diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods. Make healthy food choices including eating less fat (especially saturated fat), choosing lean meats, switching to low fat or fat free dairy products and cutting back on foods high in cholesterol, such as egg yolks, dairy products and high fat meats and poultry. Eat foods high in fiber like oatmeal, oat bran, dried beans and peas, fruits and vegetables. Watch your salt and sodium intake.
  • Get thirty minutes of physical activity most days of the week. Aerobic exercise helps keep weight off, improve circulation, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and strengthen the heart!
  • Talk to your physician about the "ABC's of Diabetes."

Links 


American Diabetes Association