According to the American Diabetes Association, an estimated 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes each year. With over 30 million people suffering from the disease in 2015, these numbers are rising every year.
November is American Diabetes Month, which is a great opportunity to learn more about the disease. Whether you have been diagnosed or you are at high risk for diabetes, some things can be done to manage your health.
Interesting Facts about Diabetes
An estimated 30% of people with diabetes are living with the illness without knowing that they have it. About 95% of these cases are type 2 diabetes, which can be prevented with lifestyle changes. Type 2 diabetes often starts without any symptoms and is not diagnosed until the disease process is well underway. So, it is important to implement healthy habits in the spirit of prevention.
People with diabetes have a high risk of developing heart disease, as well as Alzheimer’s dementia. Diabetes can also lead to blindness. Taking control of your health means that you can potentially avoid these complications.
Even though your risk of diabetes increases based on your family history or ethnicity, it doesn’t mean that you will necessary develop the disease. Genetics are considered less important than lifestyle and behavioral factors.
How to Reduce the Risk of Diabetes
Given the prevalence of diabetes, everyone should learn more about the disease to make the necessary lifestyle changes. Suggested prevention tips include:
- Moderate weight loss, approximately 5% to 7% of body weight (just 10 lbs in a 200 lb individual).
- Regular exercise 5 days a week (for 30 minutes)
- Maintain a healthy diet with low-fat meals
- Skip sugary drinks and other highly processed carbohydrates
- Quit smoking
Your doctor can help you assess your risk for diabetes by testing your weight and blood sugar levels. Then, a personalized plan can be put together to help with prevention.
Putting Together a Personalized Health Plan
If you want to protect your health, then it is important that you work with an experienced medical team. At Windward Life Care, we will help you connect with the healthcare providers who will support your goals. Talk to us to learn more about the services that are available.