Diabetes is a 24/7/365 days a year chronic disease. Diabetes doesn’t “take a day off”. The latest statistics show that nearly 26 million American children and adults have diabetes. In addition, approximately another 79 million Americans are pre-diabetic. Untreated prediabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes, putting a person at risk for multiple medical conditions and health related complications.
Uncontrolled/untreated diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease, blindness and nontraumtic amputations. In addition, uncontrolled diabetes can cause inflammatory changes in the vessels on one’s body, increasing the risk for stroke, and a variety of heart diseases.
Type 2 diabetics ( those that still produce some degree of insulin) encompass approximately 90-90% of all diabetes. Type 2 diabetics also have the greatest opportunity to control their disease process, and live healthy productive lives.
By following the recommended guidelines for healthy diabetic living, a diabetic person can lower the risk of complications and prevent the progression of this chronic disease. Some simple, yet effective behavior recommendations include the following:
- Know your numbers. Knowledge is power! Know what your “ABC”s are ( A1C blood level, blood pressure and cholesterol) and then take the appropriate measures ( diet, exercise, and medication) to control the numbers.
- Take an accredited diabetic education class. Learn all you can about the disease and become empowered to take control of your health.
- Stop smoking.
- Include some form of exercise in your daily lifestyle; increase activity to 150 minutes per week.
- Eat a healthy, well balanced diet, including fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low in fat, salt, and calories.
Simple changes, appropriate education, and improvements in activity and diet can all enhance both the quality and quantity of productive years of life. Stay healthy!