It’s almost Easter, for Peep’s sake! Growing up, we'd come home from church on Easter morning to a basket left by the Easter Bunny full of assorted candies, which always included those colorful marshmallow treats,
I LOVE Peeps! But, I also love staying healthy. You see, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in 2008. While I have success in maintaining good blood glucose levels for long periods at a time, this was not always the case. Knowing the triggers is always top of mind.
Like many people, I didn’t really think Diabetes was a serious disease. I found out quickly that it's not only serious, but life threatening. Diabetes causes more deaths each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. According to diabetes.org, two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.
So, here’s the question: are you at risk? And a follow-up question: how do you know?
Nearly 10% of the US population has Diabetes, including 25% of seniors. If trends continue, 1 in 3 American adults will have the disease by 2050. There’s a good chance you could be one of them.
Knowing the risk factors is key, so the America Diabetic Association (ADA) has developed a simple test anyone (that means you) can take. There are 7 easy questions (you’ll know all the answers). I took the test in about 3 minutes and scored a 4 out of 10 (with 10 being the highest risk). The test highlights several risk factors – some of which you can’t impact (like age, race, gender and family history).
There are 5 risk factors you CAN impact...
The ADA recommends maintaining a healthy weight to help prevent or manage Diabetes. If you’re overweight, losing just 10-15 pounds can make a big difference. For some great food tips, visit the ADA’s What I Can Eat page.
2. Physical activity
Exercising consistently helps keep your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol on target – all these actions lower your risk for Type 2 Diabetes. The ADA recommends aerobic exercise 30 minutes a day-5 days a week, strength training several times a week, and stretching to gain flexibility
3. Blood pressure
The ADA identifies blood pressure as a key symptom of Diabetes. 1 in 3 American adults has high blood pressure. 2 in 3 Diabetics report having high blood pressure or taking prescription medications to lower their blood pressure.
Wait for it...smoking is bad for you! Who knew? Well, everyone knows that smoking hurts your lungs and heart. But did you know it also lowers the amount of oxygen in your organs (not just your lungs), raises your bad cholesterol and raises your blood pressure. All of this raises your risk! So, don’t smoke. Enough said.
5) Regular check-ups
Many of the symptoms of Diabetes are silent, so you might not know unless your health care provider identifies them. So, know your risk level and then ask your health care provider about your risk factors.
Now, go take the test. I hope you pass with flying colors!
How did you do? Are you at risk? What steps do you take to keep it under control? If you have questions, comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! Wishing you peeps and happiness this Easter!