8 Things You Didn’t Know About Di­a­betes

Novem­ber is Amer­i­can Di­a­betes Month and there’s no bet­ter time to brush up on the facts.

Chattanooga Times Free Press - Parade - - Healthy - By Cather­ine Win­ters

One in eight Amer­i­can adults (about 29 mil­lion) has Type 2 di­a­betes, a con­di­tion in which the body doesn’t use in­sulin prop­erly or make enough of it, caus­ing blood glu­cose lev­els to climb. The older you get, the greater your risk.

The Amer­i­can Di­a­betes As­so­ci­a­tion (ADA) es­ti­mates that peo­ple with di­a­betes spend 2.3 times more on med­i­cal ex­penses than peo­ple with­out the dis­ease—all the more rea­son to take pre­ven­tion se­ri­ously or, if you’ve been di­ag­nosed, to man­age it as best you can.

1 Sug­ary foods and drinks don’t cause di­a­betes.

But that doesn’t mean you can con­sume end­less amounts of Ben & Jerry’s. When you overdo the sweet stuff, you’re tak­ing in ex­tra calo­ries, says Sacha Uel­men, RDN, di­rec­tor of nu­tri­tion at the ADA. And that packs on the pounds, up­ping your risk for Type 2.

2 You could have pre­di­a­betes and not know it.

One in three Amer­i­cans over age 20— a stag­ger­ing 86 mil­lion—has blood glu­cose (su­gar) lev­els hov­er­ing just below the Type 2 di­a­betes thresh­old (fast­ing glu­cose level of 100–125 mg/ dL). Pre­di­a­betes isn’t harm­less: It may dam­age blood ves­sels and cause nerve prob­lems, says Wil­liam Ce­falu, M.D., chief sci­en­tific, med­i­cal and mission

of­fi­cer for the ADA. To learn if you should be checked for pre­di­a­betes, take the ADA risk test at doi­havepre­di­a­betes.org.

3 You can pre­vent or de­lay its on­set.

If you have pre­di­a­betes, you can help re­verse the dis­ease by los­ing 7 per­cent of your body weight. For starters, eat health­fully and get at least 150 min­utes per week of mod­er­ate-in­ten­sity phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, such as brisk walk­ing. You don’t have to do it alone. The ADA’s life­style change pro­gram, the Na­tional Di­a­betes Pre­ven­tion Pro­gram, is now a cov­ered one-time ben­e­fit for Medi­care ben­e­fi­cia­ries who meet cer­tain cri­te­ria. Ask your health-care provider for de­tails.

4 Even older peo­ple can de­velop Type 1 di­a­betes.

Though it’s dubbed ju­ve­nile di­a­betes be­cause it typ­i­cally af­fects chil­dren and young adults, Type 1 doesn’t dis­crim­i­nate based on age. A re­cent study found that 4 per­cent of 31- to 60-yearolds di­ag­nosed with Type 2 di­a­betes ac­tu­ally had Type 1. Be­cause it’s more rare in the over-30 set and be­cause Type 2 is so com­mon, doc­tors some­times over­look Type 1. Some red yags in­di­cat­ing an older per­son with Type 2 may have Type 1: Her weight is nor­mal and she doesn’t re­spond to Type 2 med­i­ca­tions.

5 It re­ally hurts your heart.

Peo­ple with di­a­betes are two to four times more likely to de­velop car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease than peo­ple with­out di­a­betes, says Ce­falu. But a re­cent study in the New Eng­land

Jour­nal of Medicine re­ported that if you stop smok­ing and take steps to lower your blood pres­sure, he­mo­glo­bin A1c (a blood pig­ment that glu­cose at­taches to), LDL choles­terol and al­bu­min­uria (a marker for kid­ney dam­age), you can erase the ex­cess risk.

6 It can raise your risk for gum dis­ease.

Type 1 and Type 2 up the risk for cav­i­ties, thrush, dry mouth and pe­ri­odon­ti­tis, says di­a­betol­o­gist Jay Shubrook, D.O., di­rec­tor of di­a­betes ser­vices at Touro Uni­ver­sity in Vallejo, Calif.

7 The dreaded fin­ger stick may be­come a thing of the past.

Ac­cord­ing to the

FDA, two new con­tin­u­ous glu­cose mon­i­tor­ing de­vices (CGMs)—the Dex­com G6 and the FreeStyle Libre—are “ac­cu­rate enough to make in­sulin dos­ing de­ci­sions with­out the need for a wnger stick,» says en­docri­nol­o­gist Aaron Ne­in­stein, M.D., di­rec­tor of clin­i­cal in­for­mat­ics at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia San Fran­cisco Cen­ter for Dig­i­tal Health In­no­va­tion. The lat­est CGMs are also com­pat­i­ble with smart de­vices, al­low­ing you to check glu­cose lev­els quickly. The Dex­com G6 even sounds an alarm if lev­els drop, so you can en­joy wor­ryfree sleep.

8 It’s bad for bones.

In peo­ple with di­a­betes, hor­mones and cell prod­ucts called cy­tokines can weaken bones, rais­ing frac­ture risk, says Feli­cia Cos­man, M.D., pro­fes­sor of medicine at Columbia Uni­ver­sity. Also, con­di­tions as­so­ci­ated with di­a­betes, such as neu­ropa­thy, vi­sion prob­lems and low blood su­gar, in­crease the risk of falling and break­ing a bone. If you have di­a­betes, ask your doc­tor if you need a bone den­sity test, a good idea if you’re over 50 or you’ve bro­ken a bone, says Cos­man, edi­tor-in-chief of the jour­nal

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.