Preventing Type 2 Diabetes
In 2007, the estimated economic cost of diabetes was $174 billion. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, of this amount, $116 billion was direct medical costs and $58 billion was due to indirect costs such as lost workdays, restricted activity and disability due to diabetes.
Diabetes refers to how your body uses blood sugar, or glucose. Having diabetes, no matter which type, means that you have too much glucose in your blood. Having too much glucose can lead to serious health issues such as cardiovascular disease, nerve damage in the limbs, kidney damage, foot damage, skin conditions, hearing impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.
Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the US in 2010.
An estimated 79 million adults aged 20 and older have prediabetes and most of them aren’t aware of it. Prediabetes is a condition where blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be called diabetes. Those with prediabetes are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes within the next 10 years.
People with type 2 diabetes either lose the ability to respond to insulin or their bodies no longer make enough of it. Insulin helps the body use glucose as fuel and without it, sugar builds up in the bloodstream. People with prediabetes belong to a large group of individuals with a condition known as insulin resistance syndrome, or IRS, in which the body gradually loses sensitivity to the blood-sugar-regulating hormone.
Individuals with IRS tend to have a family history of heart disease and diabetes, as well as a characteristic of obesity in which weight settles around the abdomen rather than below the waist, high levels of triglycerides in the blood, high blood pressure and low levels of “good” cholesterol.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends blood glucose screening if you have any of the above risk factors for prediabetes.
If you are diagnosed with prediabetes, healthy lifestyle choices can help bring your blood sugar levels back to normal or to help keep it from rising toward the levels seen in type 2 diabetes. Guidelines from the American College of Endocrinology suggest the following to treat prediabetes:
- Eat healthy foods. Choose foods low in fat and calories and high in fiber.
- Get more physical activity. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of moderate physical activity at least five time a week.
- Lose excess pounds. If you’re overweight, losing five to 10 percent of your body weight can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
At Health Concerns, we have a variety of formulas that can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, which in turn, helps your body regulate your blood glucose levels (click the formula name to view its monograph):