Diabetes on the rise?

Diabetes is becoming more common in America in adults and children. The best way to prevent this disease is to have a healthy diet and an exercise plan.

By ERIN MALLIN

KENNESAW Ga. —  Diabetes, a disease that results when blood has too much glucose in it, is on the rise in America.

Type 1 diabetes is where a person’s pancreas does not work at all. Type 2 is where a person’s pancreas produces a little bit of the hormone insulin.

More people each year are at greater risk for this disease, and it has to do with genetics, diet, and lifestyle choices.

The website diabetes.org estimates that “1.25 million Americans have type 1 diabetes.”

Although type 1 diabetes can hit at any age, certain qualities can put a person at higher risk.  People who have a family history or are overweight are at the highest risk of getting this disease.

Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent this disease.

Ways to Prevent this Disease.

There are many lifestyle and diet choices one can make to prevent diabetes from happening to them.

First, experts recommend a strong exercise plan throughout the week.

Diabetes expert nurse Brandy Willis says: “ Increasing your exercise to about 30-45 minutes of cardio most days of the week would help tremendously. Eating a low carb and low fat diet will be beneficial as well. It’s also good to stay up to date on annual recommended health screenings.”

Having the right diet and exercise plan can decrease a person’s chance of getting diabetes significantly.

Not only does diet and exercise decrease your chances of developing diabetes, but it also helps a person to have a longer lifespan.

Statistics

Diabetes.org estimates that diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

Diabetes can cause extensive problems. A person with diabetes is more prone to other diseases and complications including hypoglycemia, hypertension, dyslipidemia, high cholesterol, heart attacks, stroke, blindness, kidney disease and amputations.

“It is estimated that 29 million Americans will have diabetes and other related problems,” Willis says. “It is on the rise. By 2050 one in three adults will have diabetes.”

In short, diabetes is on the rise in America, more and more American adults and children are becoming more prone to getting this disease.  A healthy diet and good exercise plan is the best defense against this disease.

The future of diabetes

Although diabetes can affect anyone at any age, senior citizens and obese people are at a higher risk.

People who may overweight, it is recommended that they get on a healthy low fat diet as well as do cardio intense exercises most day of the week.

It is recommended for senior citizens to keep up on their health screenings.  It is especially important for people who have a family history to follow a good diet and exercise plan.

One can protect themselves from not only getting this disease, but also from becoming a statistic.

The Story of Debbie Smith

Wife and mother of three Debbie Smith has been diabetic for over 40 years.

“I became diabetic when I was 16 and didn’t know it,” Smith says. “I ended up in a coma for three days and had lost a lot of weight.”

Smith has type 1 diabetes and wears an insulin pump in order to control the disease.

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Debbie Smith with her insulin pump (Photo by Erin Mallin)

“I control my diabetes with diet and insulin,” Smith says. “My insulin pump gives me a little bit of insulin at a time throughout the whole day and it alerts me when I need to check my blood sugar level. The hardest part about being diabetic is having to check my blood levels a few times a day. It can become a pain at times.”

In Smith’s case, she was predisposed to the disease; diabetes runs in her family.

“For anyone who is at risk for diabetes, I would say eat healthy and exercise,” Smith says. “Even if it is just a little bit each day, some is better than none.”

Smith has also survived breast cancer and a heart attack. Smith’s struggle shows how difficult having diabetes can be, and how important it is to stay healthy.

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