Diabetes is being diagnosed more than ever and everyone should know about it.
Over 100 million people are either living with or at risk of contracting diabetes. Even so there are still far too many people who do not take the disease or the risks seriously. The Centers for Disease Control recently said that diabetes is diagnosed every seventeen seconds. It is also the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Medical costs are double for those who have the disease versus those who do not. Men with diabetes live 7.5 years less while women live 8.2 years less.
Who is at Risk?
There are many risk factors when it comes to diabetes. Being overweight or having diabetes run in the family is one factor. Not exercising and eating unhealthy food is another. Minorities and those over the age of 45 are at risk also. Women who have had gestational diabetes or gave birth to babies over 9 pounds are at risk. Finally diabetes is a threat to those who have high blood pressure. The more factors that you see in this list the more cautious you should be. Get regular checkups and let your physician know of any changes or symptoms. Some of these symptoms are excessive thirst or hunger, tingling or numbness in hands and feet, blurred vision and cuts or bruises that heal slowly. The most surefire way to know if you have diabetes is to get your glucose levels checked since many do not show symptoms and therefore have no idea that they have the disease.
Ways to Prevent and Treat Diabetes
Changes in lifestyle, diet and medication designed to lower levels of glucose in the blood are the most effective treatment. Getting exercise and eating healthy are important. You can do simple things like parking farther away in the parking lot and walking when going shopping or walk for 30 minutes each day. Other forms of exercise are yoga, swimming and dancing. Adding these foods into your meals helps. These foods are also good sources of calcium, fiber, magnesium and vitamins A, C and E. They are beans, green, leafy vegetables, fat free yogurt and cheese, citrus fruits, whole grains, berries, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and fish that is rich with Omega 3’s.
Take Part In Diabetes Awareness Month
What can you do? The American Diabetes Association encourages you to get any one interested to join the fight to stop the spread of diabetes. You can attend a local Diabetes Awareness Month event, or take part in the Step Out Walk for Diabetes in your area. Grab a friend or family member and go assess your risk for diabetes. Work with someone who has prediabetes by helping them with meals or being an exercise buddy. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International is also launching its first annual T1 (Type 1) day (11.1.11). There are many ways to educate others and help stop the spread of diabetes.