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Good and bad news announced for those with diabetes

According to Quality Health, there's good news when it comes to diabetes. The death rates from the disease are on the decline from recent years. The date rate among individuals with diabetes is down 23 percent, according to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Deaths from cardiovascular disease were down 40 percent, as published in the journal Diabetes Care. Also, according to Quality Health, the bad news is that diabetes is still the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of kidney failure, lower-limb amputations, and new cases of blindness.

CDC senior research scientist Sharon Saydah, Ph.D. says people with diabetes are living longer. However, she did cite risks for a number of complications-cardiovascular disease, lower leg amputations, kidney disease, eye problems, dementia, and other kinds of disability.

Diabetes is not a death sentence if diabetics following some simple suggestions. Martha McKittrick, RD, CDN, CDE, of New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia Medical Center in New York City recommends diabetics watch their weight. She says to keep moving because moving can keep your heart healthy and your blood pressure in the normal range. There is really no need to join a gym. You just need to walk, take the stairs, and be more active. One weekly goal may be to walk ten minutes during lunchtime.

McKittrick also recommends healthy eating. She suggests that diabetes should focus on lean protein, heart-healthy fats, nonfat or lowfat dairy products and whole grains rather than processed grains. Plan to eat a salad along with your meals.

Since individuals with diabetes are more prone to gum infections, McKittrick recommends regular dental checkups. In general, she says, you should plan to visit your dentist twice a year, and more often if you need to. Don't forget about your feet. If you have an elevated glucose level, it will damage the nerves in your feet. So get regular foot care especially if you have numbness in your feet.

Practice monitoring your blood glucose level and be aware of your blood pressure and your cholesterol level. Also stay engaged with your healthcare team. While a healthcare team can be helpful, you should be your own health care advocate. It's not just your physician and registered dietitian who are on your healthcare team, you need to be engaged in asking questions and decision-making about your own health.

The good news about diabetes is that is doesn't have to be a death sentence if you are actively involved in keeping it under control.

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