November is National Diabetes Month! World Diabetes Day – November 14 – also my birthday!
November is a meaningful month for me because it's National Diabetes Month, and November 14th is a special day for two reasons: it's World Diabetes Day, and it's also my birthday. On this day, we remember Frederick Banting, a pioneer whose work led to the discovery of insulin in 1922.
In this blog, we'll focus on Type 2 Diabetes, often referred to as adult-onset diabetes. Let's explore some general facts about diabetes and the latest statistics.
The Good News:
Over the years, we've seen a positive shift. After two decades of continuously rising cases of Type 2 Diabetes, we witnessed a remarkable decline of 35% in new diagnoses. In 2008, there were 1.7 million new cases per year, and by 2017, this number had dropped to 1.3 million. This decline is a testament to better education and interventions, highlighting the progress we've made in fighting diabetes.
- Here's another piece of good news – up to 70% of Type 2 Diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed by making healthier lifestyle choices. By adopting the simple lifestyle changes discussed below, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing diabetes and protect your family's health.
The Bad News:
The prevalence of diabetes in low- and middle-income countries continues to grow. By 2040, the number of people with diabetes in Africa is expected to double.
Individuals diagnosed with diabetes are twice as likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke compared to those without diabetes, and they tend to experience these health issues at a younger age.
For smokers with diabetes, the risks are even greater, with a higher likelihood of developing serious conditions like heart and kidney disease.
- Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, and lower-limb amputation in many countries.
For women, a vital point to remember is that if you had gestational diabetes during pregnancy, you are at an increased risk of developing diabetes later in life.
The most exciting revelation is that diabetes can be reduced or prevented through simple lifestyle changes. Here are five tips to help you, whether you're 40, 50, 60, or beyond:
5 Tips to Decrease Diabetes:
1. Get Active: Regular physical activity can assist with weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, and boost your insulin sensitivity. This combination helps maintain your blood sugar within a healthy range. Consider incorporating both aerobic exercise and resistance training into your fitness routine for the best results.
2. Fiber is Your Friend: Increase your fiber intake to enhance blood sugar control and reduce your risk of heart disease. You can find fiber in foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and nuts.
3. Choose Whole Grains: When shopping for grains, look for the word "whole" on the package and among the first few items in the ingredient list.
4. Shed Extra Pounds: If you're overweight, weight loss is crucial for diabetes prevention. Even a modest reduction in body weight (around 7%) coupled with regular exercise can lower your risk of developing diabetes by nearly 60%.
5. Say No to Fad Diets: While fad diets may lead to initial weight loss, their effectiveness in preventing diabetes remains uncertain. Instead, opt for portion control and a diverse, healthy eating plan to maintain a balanced diet.
When to Consult Your Doctor:
If you're over 45 and have a normal weight, talk to your doctor about diabetes testing. The American Diabetes Association recommends blood glucose screening if you:
- Are age 45 or older and overweight.
Are under 45, overweight, and have one or more additional risk factors for type 2 diabetes, such as a sedentary lifestyle or a family history of diabetes.
As we approach November 14th, let's unite in raising awareness about diabetes prevention and make a real impact on our health, the well-being of our families, and our nation. Please share this information; it would be the best birthday gift I could receive from each of you!
- In health and happiness
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Citations: CDC - Diabetes Cases Decline