November is American Diabetes Month. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death and disability in America. It can cause blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, and various health problems if it is not controlled. It is a sweeping epidemic that affects people of all size, shape, age, and ethnicity. Complications of diabetes include nerve damage, kidney disease, impaired vision, lost limbs, and even death. However, type 2 diabetes is unique in the fact that it is almost completely preventable.
Don’t wait until it is too late. Here are some simple actions you can take to decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes:
• A little exercise goes a long way! It only takes 10 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per day (brisk walking) to stimulate the body’s metabolic processes that help enhance glucose utilization in the body. This will decrease your risk of insulin resistance and ultimately type 2 diabetes!
• Visit your doctors regularly! This includes your dentist, eye doctor, and primary care physician. By scheduling regular appointments, you may be able to detect early signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
• Substitute, substitute, substitute! This can be applied to many foods and habits in your life. Examples include:
– Choose diet sodas instead of regular varieties
– Choose steamed vegetables, side salad, or a fruit cup as a side dish when dining out
– Use Splenda or other artificial sweeteners when baking
– Make half your grains whole. Choose wheat or whole grain varieties of breads, pastas and rice to help lower cholesterol and decrease risk of type 2
diabetes Lisa Ronning MS, RD, LD
Clinical Dietitian – OakBend Medical Center Disclaimer: The contents of this article, including text and images, are for informational purposes only and do not constitute a medical service. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.