Could you have Diabetes?
Nearly 90 million Americans are prediabetic and most of them don't know it. Diabetes is a disease that develops over decades so most people have prediabetes for a long time before the disease is full-blown and even then, it's a slow progression. This leaves a big gap in your window of opportunity in which to stop, slow or even reverse the disease.
So, what exactly is diabetes? Diabetes happens when the pancreas doesn't make enough insulin to remove the sugar from your bloodstream - or in the case of Type 1 diabetes, no insulin is produced at all. All of that excess blood sugar damages your blood vessels and affects your circulation, which puts you at a very high risk for a multitude of ailments - heart attack, stroke, blindness and nerve damage, to name a few.
American Diabetes Association spokesperson David Marrero says, "Poorly controlled diabetes is a recipe for disaster, because when you've got high levels of glucose circulating in your body, it really beats you up. But well-controlled diabetes? It's the leading cause of nothing." Research shows that if you can get good and close control of your blood sugar levels you can avoid many complications of diabetes.Understanding your risks for diabetes - if you answer 'yes' to any of these questions, you are at a higher risk for developing diabetes.
- Are you over 40?
- Are you overweight?
- Do you have a sedentary lifestyle?
- Family member with diabetes?
- Do you high blood pressure?
- Did you have gestational diabetes during a pregnancy?
By making some very simple lifestyle changes you can lower your risk of diabetes significantly. Losing just 7% of your body weight (an average 12 to 15 pounds) drops your risk a whopping 60-70 percent! Lower your blood pressure and cholesterol numbers, and you will be helping avoid the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Even sleep loss plays a role in the risk for developing diabetes. Messing with your natural sleep cycle messes with your body clock, which manages your metabolism, hormone levels and other body functions. A messy sleep cycle can be a major contributor to obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Do your best to shoot for 7-9 hours of good zzzz's a night with a regular sleep and waking time each day. If you think you may be at risk, talk to your doctor and schedule an appointment for your blood work. Three simple blood tests will give you peace of mind and if necessary, start you on the path to treatment and a healthier lifestyle.Stay healthy! Your friend and trainer, Lynn Valaes Owner, ACE Certified Personal Trainer Wise women Fitness