(Courtesy of HRH) November is National Diabetes Month, and Hudson Regional Hospital is here with some tips for preventing type 2 diabetes along with some easy ways to manage the condition if it is something that befalls you.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), diabetes is currently at an all-time high, occurring in almost 10 percent of American adults. And the numbers continue to rise. Between 1990 and 2000, the number of people with diabetes more than tripled. And another 80 million (that’s one out of every four people over 18!) have what is called prediabetes, a condition that puts them at increased risk of developing type 2. The news can even be worse for Ashkenazi Jews, as a gene has been linked to the increased likelihood of type 2 diabetes developing.
In fact, type 2 diabetes is one of the fastest-growing chronic diseases worldwide, and if not well cared for can lead to serious medical complications such as eye, kidney and heart disease. If you have type 2 you can avoid or significantly reduce the risk of developing complications by controlling your glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. And if you have prediabetes, studies have shown there are ways to significantly reduce your risk of developing type 2.
Further, Hudson Regional Hospital provides different examination and treatment options that can be used for dealing with diabetes. Based on the most recent data and input from Hudson Regional Hospital physicians, here are a selection of tools that can be applied to help manage your life with diabetes.
The best way to prevent diabetes is living healthy. On a practical level, you can stop or delay the onset of diabetes by losing between 5 and 7 percent of body weight. This means, if you weigh 200 pounds, the goal should be to lose 10 to 14 pounds. Also, if you aren’t already, try to get at least 30 minutes of physical exercise five times a week. This can mean going for a walk around the block or participating in a higher-intensity activity. Finally, eating healthy foods and adjusting your meal size can help reduce the likelihood of diabetes. Try eating smaller portions to reduce the number of calories you are ingesting and choose foods with less fat than others. Studies have shown these tips can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by almost 60 percent.
What to Look Out For
Pay careful attention to the warning signs and symptoms of diabetes because they can mirror the pains and strains people encounter in their daily routine. A few common symptoms of diabetes include feeling parched and hungry (even though you are eating), impaired vision, extreme fatigue, and a tingling, pain or numbness in the hands/feet. Consider the same symptoms when thinking about prediabetes.
Remembers Your ABCs
If you are one of the 30 million people in the United States who currently have or was recently diagnosed with diabetes, managing this condition can be as simple as remembering your ABCs.
A1C Test: The A1C test has been developed to measure your average blood glucose over the past three months. For most people, the goal level should be 7 percent. Together with a health professional you can determine what your A1C should be.
Blood Pressure: Similar to the A1C test, while your specific goal will vary, the blood pressure for the average person with diabetes should be 140/90 mm Hg.
Cholesterol: There are two kinds of cholesterol in your blood: LDL and HDL. While a health professional will determine what level of cholesterol is appropriate, know that blood cholesterol can build up or clog your blood vessels.
Stop Smoking: Above all, if you are diagnosed with diabetes, stop smoking. Smoking can cause your blood vessels to narrow, which makes your heart work much harder. Further, if you quit smoking:
- You will lower your risk for heart attack, stroke, nerve disease and kidney disease.
- Blood pressure and cholesterol levels can improve.
- Blood circulation can improve.
- You may have an easier time being physically active.
About Hudson Regional Hospital
Hudson Regional Hospital offers preventive and other services both on an inpatient and outpatient basis. Patients can inquire about these services or schedule appointments by contacting the hospital directly, either via telephone at 201-392-3100 or email at [email protected] Patients facing medical emergencies should proceed directly to the emergency room. The emergency room contact number is 201-392-3210.
For a tour of the new Hudson Regional Hospital or to meet the owner and executive staff, physicians should call George Matyjewicz at 201-392-3436 or email [email protected]