Diabetes Types, Risk Factors and Help

Diabetes has taken residence in our home, my dear husband has been a diabetic for well over 10 years.  A diabetic has to be diligent about caring for themselves. This is a discipline that can be challenging at times, because we live in a culture that, I would almost say, worships food.  Page down a bit for some information that I hope will be helpful to you, whether trying to avoid diabetes, or treat diabetes.

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What is Your Risk?
 
As Type-2 Adult Onset Diabetes continues to spread at staggering rates, it is important for all of us to take an honest look at our own risk and to take action where needed.  

To find out if you are at risk for Diabetes, fill in the points next to the word "Yes" for each statement that is true for you.
 
Then add up your total score, and read below to see what your score means.
  • My weight is equal to or above that listed in the chart below (see chart below) - YES = 5 points  ____
  • I am under 65 years of age and I get little or no exercise during a usual day - YES = 5 points  ____
  • I am between 45 and 65 years of age - YES = 5 points  ____
  • I am 65 years old or older - YES = 9 points ____
  • I am a woman who has had a baby weighing more than nine pounds at birth - YES =1 point ____
  • I have a sister or brother with diabetes - YES = 1 point  ____
  • I have a parent with diabetes - YES = 1 point  ____
  • Total Score: _______ points
                                                      
If You Scored 3-9 Points: You are probably at low risk for having diabetes now. But don't forget about it, especially if you are Hispanic, African American, American Indian, Asian American or a Pacific Islander.  You may be at higher risk in the future. 

Some guidelines suggest that everyone age 45 and older consider being tested for diabetes every three years. However, people at high risk should consider being tested more often and at a younger age.

If You Scored 10 Or More Points: You could be at high risk for diabetes. Only your health care professional can determine if you have diabetes.

You can also take online Diabetes Risk Test here: http://www.diabetes.org/risk-test.jsp

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DIABETES RISK WEIGHT CHART:


Women
(Chart shows 20 percent over ideal weights)
Men
(Chart shows 20 percent over ideal weights)
Height
(without shoes)
Weight in Pounds
(without clothing)
Height
(without shoes)
Weight in Pounds
(without clothing)
Feet
Inches

Feet
Inches

4
9
134
5
1
157
4
10
137
5
2
160
4
11
140
5
3
162
5
0
143
5
4
165
5
1
146
5
5
168
5
2
150
5
6
172
5
3
154
5
7
175
5
4
157
5
8
179
5
5
161
5
9
182
5
6
164
5
10
186
5
7
168
5
11
190
5
8
172
6
0
194
5
9
175
6
1
199
5
10
178
6
2
203
5
11
182
6
3
209

If you weigh the same or more than the amount listed for your height, you may be at risk for diabetes.

________________



Rates of Type 2 (Adult Onset) Diabetes are skyrocketing in our society. 
The percentage of Americans with Type 2 Diabetes is high, but the good news is that approximately 90% of cases are PREVENTABLE. Prevention starts with understanding the cause.  When a healthy person eats a meal, the body converts carbohydrates into blood sugar.  The brain recognizes the rise in blood sugar levels and signals the pancreas to produce insulin.  Insulin is a chemical messenger that rings the dinner bell telling all 10 trillion cells in the body to come and feed on the blood sugar.  As the cells feed on the blood sugar, the blood sugar levels come back down.  This is how it's supposed to work.

Carbohydrates come in two forms natural (complex) and man-made (simple). The man-made carbohydates are found in processed foods such as white table sugar, candy, sodas, high fructose corn syrup, and white bread. Eating processed carbohydrates causes sudden, unusually high and sustained spikes in your blood sugar levels.  This constant over-stimulation of the pancreas, year after year after year, causes your internal machinery to wear out prematurely.   In some cases, the pancreas gets tired and can't produce enough insulin. In other cases, the dinner bell rings so often that the cells get tired of hearing it, and stop running to get their blood sugar.  Either way, when this happens, the health care industry declares that you have Type 2 Diabetes.  And yes, for only a few hundred bucks a month for testing supplies and medication, they can keep you alive.  (I know this is true, I have a husband with diabetes and even WITH insurance the costs are high).  

Natural sugars, like the sugars found whole foods, are known as complex carbohydrates. They do not cause sudden and sustained spikes in your blood sugar levels, so your internal machinery can last a lifetime if treated with care.  It really is that simple. 

Know your risk.  The Washington University School of Medicine offers a comprehensive risk assessment tool on their website.  We encourage you to click the link below and take the test - it only takes a few minutes.
 
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, making a few changes can dramatically lower your chances of developing Type 2 Diabetes. The same changes can also lower the chances of developing heart disease and some cancers

Control your weight. Excess weight is the single most important cause of Type 2 Diabetes. Being overweight increases the chances of developing Type 2 Diabetes seven-fold. Being obese makes you 20 to 40 times more likely to develop diabetes than someone with a healthy weight. 

Losing weight can help if your weight is above the healthy-weight range. Losing 7-10% of your current weight can cut in half your chances of developing Type 2 Diabetes. 

Get moving. Inactivity promotes Type 2 Diabetes. Every two hours you spend watching TV instead of pursuing something more active increases the changes of developing diabetes by 14%. Working your muscles more often and making them work harder improves their ability to use insulin and absorb glucose. This puts less stress on your insulin-making machinery. 

Findings from the Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study suggest that just walking briskly for a half hour every day reduces the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes by 30%. 

This amount of exercise has a variety of other benefits as well. And even greater cardiovascular and other benefits can be attained by more, and more intense, exercise within reason. 

Tune-up your diet and lifestyle:
  1. Choose whole grains and whole-grain products over highly processed carbohydrates. In other words, choose whole foods instead of processed foods. 
  2. Choose good fats instead of bad fats. The types of fats in your diet can also affect the development of diabetes. Good fats, such as the polyunsaturated fats found in tuna, salmon, liquid vegetable oils, and many nuts, can help ward off Type 2 Diabetes. Trans fats do just the opposite. These bad fats are found in many margarine, packaged baked goods, fried foods in most fast-food restaurants, and any product that lists "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil" on the label. If you already have diabetes, eating fish can help protect you against a heart attack or dying from heart disease. 
  3. If you smoke, try to quit. Add Type 2 Diabetes to the long list of health problems linked with smoking. Smokers are 50% to 90% more likely to develop diabetes than nonsmokers. 
  4. Alcohol now and then may help. A growing body of evidence links moderate alcohol consumption with reduced risks of heart disease. The same may be true for Type 2 Diabetes. Moderate amounts of alcohol-a drink a day for men, a drink every other day for women-increases the efficiency of insulin at getting glucose inside cells. And some studies indicate that moderate alcohol consumption decreases the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. If you already drink alcohol, the key is to keep your consumption in the moderate range. If you don't drink alcohol, there's no need to start-you can get the same benefits by losing weight, exercising more, and changing your eating patterns.
The bottom line? The key to preventing Type 2 Diabetes can be boiled down to five words: Stay lean and stay active.

 
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Updated 1/17/13

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