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How to reduce your risk of getting diabetes by 33%

It seems that exercise is the answer to a lot of health problems—and it IS! And now there are the studies to show that the benefits of aerobic exercise help prevent Type 2 diabetes. What are the facts?

• Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes and an estimated 79 million adults have prediabetes.
• This year 1.9 million will be diagnosed with diabetes, and hundreds of thousands more will have it and not know it.
• The economic cost of diagnosed diabetes is $245 BILLION annually.
Diabetes is the primary cause of death for 71,382 Americans each year.
• Diabetes contributes to the death of 231,404 Americans annually (combining death certificates that list diabetes as the primary and a contributing cause of death).

What are the health complications when you are diagnosed with diabetes?

Heart disease goes hand in hand with diabetes, to the rate of 68% correlation, with heart disease noted in 68% of deaths for people with diabetes aged 65 and older. In short, the heart disease death rate is 2 to 4 times higher than for adults without diabetes.
The risk of stroke is 2 to 4 times higher among people with diabetes.
Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 20–74 years.
Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, and accounts for 44% of all new cases of kidney failure. Annually, 48,374 diabetics begin treatment for end-stage kidney disease in the U.S. at the rate of 133 each day. Chronic dialysis is a way of life for many of these.
• About 60-70% of diabetics have mild to severe neuropathy.
Hearing loss is twice as common in diabetics.
• Nontraumatic lower-limb amputations occur in diabetics at the rate of 180/day annually.
• 85.2% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese.
Diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. increased by 128% from 1988 to 2008; with projections of 1 in 3 American adults diagnosed by 2050.
• Diabetes kills more Americans every year than AIDS and breast cancer combined.
• A person with diagnosed diabetes at age 50 dies 6 years earlier than one without diabetes, and you can add even more years cut short with other health complications.
• Only 7.3% of Americans with prediabetes have been told they have it, and what is worse, many doctors are unaware of the blood sugar reading that says a patient is prediabetic, even giving false information to their patients. If you have your blood sugar checked after a fast, and it is 100 or higher (up to 125), you are PREDIABETIC.

So how can you avoid getting diabetes? Simple. EXERCISE! The most recent studies from a group of researchers, including from the Harvard School of Public Health, show that women who did at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week, combined with weight-lifting, conditioning, and other muscle-strengthening exercise including yoga, were a third as likely to develop diabetes as inactive women. The study followed 99,316 women ages 36 to 81.The more activity, the more the benefit. Just a half hour a day (do while watching TV!) plus an hour a week in weight-lifting or other strengthening exercise, can reduce your risk by 33 percent. Further, losing just 10% of your weight can move you into the green zone; losing 20% can likely keep some people off diabetes medications

Reread the lists at the top of the page. If they aren’t enough to scare you into taking better care of yourself, then I don’t know what is. There is NOTHING more important than your health. Plan now to have your blood checked (your A1C is the number to know) and discuss how to avoid diabetes with your medical team. The specialist to see is an endocrinologist who specializes in diabetes. Find out whether your doctor's office has a certified diabetes educator on staff or that they use--that person is a wealth of information.

Diabetes does not have to be a death sentence. YOU have control here, so exercise it! Not everyone has to go on insulin, and an oral medication is all some people need, assuming their health plan is working toward getting off all diabetic meds. Remember, YOU have control as to how you lead your life.

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