Type 2 diabetes
Healthy diet and regular activity are keys to prevention
About 14.6 million Americans are currently diagnosed with diabetes, and an estimated 6.2 million additional Americans have diabetes but have not been diagnosed.
Diabetes is a serious and costly disease that has reached epidemic proportions in the past 10 years. In Type 1 diabetes, previously known as juvenile onset diabetes, the body’s immune system destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. In Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the body’s cells have become resistant to insulin.
Most cases of Type 2 diabetes appear to be related to obesity or weight gain, both of which can be prevented through healthy diet and regular physical activity. Preventing Type 2 diabetes can mean a longer and healthier life without serious complications from the disease, such as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, blindness, kidney failure, and amputation.
While some people develop Type 2 diabetes because of a genetic predisposition, most people have the power to prevent it.
“Achieving or maintaining a healthy weight and eating a low-fat, high-fiber diet, along with regular physical activity such as walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week, will significantly lower your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes,” says Elizabeth Tovar, nurse practitioner and assistant professor at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. “Achieving a balance between caloric intake and energy expenditure is important for maintenance of weight, while consuming fewer calories than you burn is essential for weight loss.”
If you have Type 2 diabetes, you can lower your risks of complications by following these steps:
• Maintain normal blood sugar:
Before meals 70-130 mg/dl
Two hours after eating <180mg/dl
A1C (three months average) < 7 percent
• Control weight
(Goal BMI 18.5-24.9)
• Control cholesterol:
LDL <100 mg/dl
Triglycerides <150 mg/dl
HDL >40 mg/dl
• Control blood pressure <130/80
• If you smoke, find a way to quit.
• Adhere to medications your physician may prescribe.
• Check your feet daily.
• Stay up to date on vaccinations (flu, pneumonia) and annual eye exams.