Posts Tagged ‘World Diabetes Day’

More than 416 million adults worldwide have diabetes. About 95 percent of those have type 2 diabetes. Common symptoms include increased thirst, increased hunger, increased urination, unplanned weight loss or gain, fatigue, blurred vision, and numbness or Diabetes concept. Notepad  with diabetic diet and raw organic food. Stock Photo - 39058978tingling in the feet. Those who experience one or more of these symptoms, especially excessive weight gain, would be wise to check with their healthcare provider. Diabetes is a forerunner of multiple health problems.

Who is susceptible to this condition? Risks increase for those aged 45 and older, those who with a family history, and certain ethnic groups (African-Americans, Alaska Natives, American Indians, Asian Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, or Pacific Islander Americans). Women who have gestational diabetes or give birth to infants weighing more than nine pounds are more susceptible. Higher cholesterol levels may also increase vulnerability. While people may have no control over these factors, the most significant risks for diabetes relate to lifestyle practices—overweight/obesity and inactivity. As many as 70 percent of those with this disease could avoid it by losing weight and becoming more active. Why aren’t they?

In 1991 the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization coordinated efforts to form World Diabetes Day, observed each year on November 14. The purpose is to raise awareness of this disease and its causes. The event is one of several activities of the IDF, a worldwide alliance in 160 countries dedicated to improving the lives of people with diabetes everywhere. The 2016 theme, “Eyes on Diabetes,” focuses on screening to ensure early diagnosis. As many as half of those with the disease remain undiagnosed.

This insidious disease increases risks for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and multiple other problems including potential nerve and blood vessel damage sometimes resulting in amputation. Those proactive in seeking appropriate treatment for this condition improve their chances for healthy living. What are the best ways to prevent or delay this disease? The answer sounds simple, but it is hard for many to achieve.

  • Make lifestyle changes
    • The most significant change for those overweight or obese is to lose weight. A 10 or 15-pound weight loss can make a big difference.
    • Choose healthy foods most of the time. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) identifies Diabetes Superfoods to assist in making wise food choices.
    • Exercise on a regular basis. Make every effort to exercise at least 30 minutes five days a week.
  • Follow healthcare providers’ guidelines for medications.
    • While many with type 2 diabetes can control blood sugar levels with changes in diet and/or weight loss, some may need medications. Usually these will be oral drugs prescribed by the healthcare provider. For a better understanding of available drugs, the ADA explains options for treatment.
    • Before taking supplements or herbal products, check with your healthcare provider.

Where to Start

Change is difficult. Most of us are creatures of habit, but habits can be altered. The following steps may make a new lifestyle easier.

  • Think through and write down a plan of action.
  • Set definite goals with a specific time frame.
  • Consider preplanning of needs such as grocery lists to assure needed foods will be available.
  • Explore possible food and exercise app trackers.
  • Consider what obstacle you may face.
  • Seek support from those who will encourage you.
  • Decide on a non-food reward when you obtain your goals.

On World Diabetes Day, be mindful of symptoms and the implications for diabetes. It’s a condition you don’t want. Remember, most type 2 diabetes is preventable or reversible. The choice is yours.

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November 14 is World Diabetes Day. The theme for the five-year period, 2009-2013, is “Diabetes education and prevention,” and this year’s slogan is “Act on Diabetes.Now.” Participating nations, eighty-four in 2010, will use blue lighting to reinforce the link between the color blue and diabetes.

This rampant disease isn’t limited to the United States. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 346 million people worldwide have the disease, and WHO expects the number to increase.  Diabetes causes nearly four million deaths annually with amputations, a major complication, responsible for crippling nearly one million more. That means one person every eight seconds dies from complications of diabetes. The disease is no respecter of persons regardless of age, nationality or economic status.

Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, but healthy eating, weight loss, and physical activity impact the prevalence of type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes.  Major risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:

  • Family history of the disease
  • Ethnic background (more common in Hispanics, African-Americans, Native Americans, and Asians)
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Excessive weight (BMI above 25)
  • High blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels
  • Increased age above 45

While we can do nothing about many of these factors, we can control those related to food, activity, and lifestyle. What are you doing to prevent or control this disease in your life and around the world?



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