U.S. Diabetes Rates Rising


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Lifestyle can reduce your chances of having to do this.

This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its diabetes fact sheet. Unfortunately the numbers are not good: they are rising.

“Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes and an estimated 79 million adults have prediabetes. The new estimates show how important it is to make healthy lifestyle choices to prevent type 2 diabetes.”

Of the 79 million adults who have type 2 diabetes (T2DM) or prediabetes, about 7 million of them don’t know it. Even though they don’t know they have it, they are still getting the complications from diabetes. Do you know your risk for T2DM? Take this 10 question quiz.

If someone you know has diabetes, which most people do, it is probably type 2 since it is the most common form affecting about 90-95% of those who have diabetes. Only about 5% of the people with diabetes have type 1, formerly called juvenile diabetes.

Based on current trends, the CDC predicts that one in three adults in the United States will have diabetes by 2050.

LIFESTYLE FACTORS REDUCE RISK

  • Be active by exercising regularly. Studies show that exercising for 150 minutes each week (equal to 30 minutes five days a week) reduces risk of diabetes, or helps with better control in those with diabetes. Exercising for 300 minutes per week (60 minutes five days a week) is even better.
  • Lose 5 to 7 percent of your body weight if you are overweight. Even if losing that weight doesn’t move you from being overweight, you still reduce your risk of diabetes.

The benefit of doing these things? Losing weight and getting regular exercise won’t hurt you and has many added benefits, including reducing risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

WHAT ELSE?

Have your fasting blood glucose checked regularly. If you have never had it done, check with your physician to order a test. If your blood glucose is normal, the American Diabetes Association recommends having it retested every three years.

However, I have personally seen people move from “normal” to “diabetes” in less than two years. If you can afford it, or have health insurance, I suggest you have your fasting blood glucose tested every 1 to 2 years. Because the complications from diabetes are extensive, from blindness to amputations, it would be a tragedy to go a couple of years with diabetes without knowing.

Resources:

American Diabetes Association

Diabetes Prevention Program Fact Sheet

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