Diabetes Awareness Month
What causes diabetes? Find out and take control. The good news is you can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.
All you have to do is decide. Decide to stay at a healthy weight. Decide to eat well. Decide to be active. If you’re at-risk, paying attention to living a healthy lifestyle or getting early treatment can, for some, actually return blood sugar levels to a normal range. So, take a breath—and then take action.
If you’re looking for ideas on how to get started—or reverse the course of what’s already underway—check out the American Diabetes Association website at diabetes.org This website has everything you need. A risk test can help you assess your risk level, and you’ll find a full slate of fitness ideas, nutritional plans, and tips to help you move forward.
But no matter what you do, do something, because the power to live the life you want to is entirely in your hands.
Even if you have prediabetes …
There are many factors you can control. Prediabetes is a condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes and even heart disease. Your chances of having prediabetes go up if you:
· Are 45 or older
· Are Black, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander
· Have a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes
· Are overweight
· Are physically inactive
· Have high blood pressure or take medicine for high blood pressure
· Have low HDL cholesterol and/or high triglycerides
· Had diabetes during pregnancy
· Have been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
THE FIRST STEP: UNDERSTANDING YOUR RISK
The tools on diabetes.org can help you figure out which next steps are best for you. Whether it’s losing a few pounds or simply eating better, you reach your goals.
One minute, one test result
84 million American adults have prediabetes, but here’s the kicker: nearly 90% of them don’t even know it. The test you need can be found at diabetes.org. And all it takes is 60 seconds of your time.
The power of A1C
You may already know about the A1C test, but you may not know all it can do. With this blood test, your doctor can identify prediabetes or diagnose type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The test results can also determine your average blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months. Talk to your doctor to determine if this test is right for you.
Overweight? Know the impact
If you’re overweight, it impacts more than your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It leads to unhealthy cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, high blood sugar, and even stroke. The good news? Losing just 10-15 pounds can make a big difference.
Not sure how much weight you need to lose? Get checked for your Body Mass Index (BMI). This is a simple calculation based on your weight and height. And it’s a great first step on your weight loss journey.
Need more reasons to quit?
You already know smoking is bad for you. What you may not know is that it reduces the amount of oxygen that reaches your organs and causes a range of issues, from high blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol to heart attack and stroke.
High blood pressure risks
If you have high blood pressure, you’re not alone; it affects nearly 1 in 3 American adults. High blood pressure makes your heart work harder, which raises your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other problems. And you may need medication to get it under control, fast.
High blood sugar gets real
Diabetes, among other things, can cause blood sugar levels to rise higher than normal. High blood sugar can have serious long-term complications, such as heart disease, nerve damage, kidney damage and more.