Diabetes - What You Need To Know
It's Girl Scout Cookie© season so most of us are consuming more sugar than normal - not only is it a tasty time of year, it's a great opportunity to discuss diabetes.
It's a startling number: More than 100 million Americans have diabetes or high blood sugar levels, a condition called prediabetes. But a quarter of adults with diabetes don't know they have it. And only about one in 10 know they have prediabetes.1
Could you be among this crowd of people?
Heed the warning signs. Diabetes may be "silent" and not cause any signs or symptoms. However, these are common warning signs:
Know your risks. Discuss any warning signs you have, and ask your doctor about your risk of developing diabetes. For example, even a few extra pounds can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, which goes up 30 percent for every 11 pounds gained. Big weight gains-44 pounds or more-make you 10 times more likely to develop the disease.3
You may need a special blood test to confirm whether or not you have diabetes. And this could save your life. In the U.S., diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death, usually from heart problems.1,4 In addition to your heart, diabetes may lead to complications that affect everything from your brain and eyes to your kidneys and nerves. 2 And did you know that the dementia risk linked to diabetes is nearly as high as that of a gene that's a risk factor for Alzheimer's?5
Prevent or manage diabetes. It's critical to do your best to prevent or manage diabetes. But most American adults with diabetes aren't meeting recommended guidelines, which may include a combination of lifestyle changes and medication such as statins, aspirin, and drugs that lower blood sugar.4
I'm not saying it's always easy, but you can do it.
If you have prediabetes, you can cut your risk of diabetes in half with exercise and a healthy diet.1 Here are a few lifestyle changes that can go a long way toward preventing or controlling diabetes.
Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice. You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.
© Rona Jin, PharmD Candidate 2020
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