November is National Diabetes Awareness MonthPosted on 11/1/2011
Diabetes is a group of diseases characterized by high blood glucose levels that result from the body’s inability to produce or use insulin. Five percent of individuals diagnosed with diabetes have type 1 diabetes, where their body does not produce the insulin necessary to control blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes is by far the most common form. In this case, individuals cannot properly use the insulin their body secretes, or they do not produce an adequate amount of insulin to properly regulate blood sugar levels. Diabetes affects 25.8 million people of all ages in the United States today. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, nontraumatic lower-limb amputations, and new cases of blindness among adults in the United States. According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, direct medical costs associated with diabetes illness in the United State are around 116 billion dollars per year!
Obesity is believed to be one of the major causes of diabetes in the United States. According to the CDC, almost 70% of American adults have a BMI that classifies them as being overweight or obese. Controlling obesity rates would likely also control diabetes rates. To maintain a healthy weight and prevent the onset of diabetes, regular exercise and a healthy diet are essential. Taking an exercise class or running with a friend are great ways to stay motivated to exercise regularly. For optimum health, it is recommended that individuals exercise for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. In addition, eating a diet of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and low fat dairy products is very important. Tracking what you eat in a food journal is an excellent way to be sure you are eating a well-rounded, low fat diet.
It is essential for our personal and financial health that we control our weight and our diabetes. Encourage everyone this November to make the lifestyle modifications necessary to avoid the onset of diabetes!