There is a good reason why November is Diabetes Awareness Month – we need it. There are 25.8 million Americans (that’s 8.3 percent of the US population) that have diabetes. Of those, about 7 million don’t know they have it. What is even more worrisome, it is estimated that another 79 million adults aged 20 and older have prediabetes. That’s a condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not quite high enough to be called diabetes.
If you have prediabetes and begin to lose weight and exercise, there is a good chance of reversing it. But if you wait five years or more, there is a good chance it will turn into diabetes. About 68 percent of people with diabetes die of heart disease or stroke, problems that might not have happened if the diabetes had been prevented.
Research shows that you can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes by 58 percent by:
- Losing 7 percent of your body weight (or 15 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds)
- Exercising moderately (such as brisk walking) 30 minutes a day, five days a week
You are more likely to get prediabetes or diabetes if you:
- Have diabetes in your family
- Are a member of a minority group, including African American, Native American, Latino, or Pacific Islander
- Are overweight or obese
- Have high blood pressure
- Have high blood fats, called cholesterol and triglycerides
- Are not physically active
- Had high blood glucose when pregnant; this is called gestational diabetes
- Gave birth to a baby weighing more than 10 pounds
According to the National Institute of Health, consider getting tested for prediabetes if you are overweight and
- are physically inactive
- have a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes
- have high blood pressure or high cholesterol—blood fat
- have abnormal levels of HDL, or good, cholesterol or triglycerides—another type of blood fat
- had gestational diabetes—diabetes that develops only during pregnancy—or gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
- are African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, or Pacific Islander American
- have polycystic ovary syndrome, also called PCOS
- have a dark, velvety rash around your neck or armpits
- have blood vessel problems affecting your heart, brain, or legs
In honor of diabetes awareness month I created the music video above. Enjoy! Don’t let diabetes take control of you.
For more information on diabetes and menopause visit My Menopause Magazine.
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