An estimated 34.2 million Americans have diabetes, and 1.5 million new cases are diagnosed each year. What’s even more remarkable is that there are about 7.3 million Americans who have diabetes and don’t even know it.
The sheer numbers are far from the whole story, though. If a friend or family member has diabetes, you probably know all too well about the serious health impact that diabetes has on your body. Diabetes ranks as the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and is the leading cause of blindness, lower-limb amputations, and kidney failure.
Sounds scary, right? The good news, says the highly skilled team at Cardio Metabolic Institute is that in most cases, you have the power to prevent diabetes. In this blog, we share our insights into this disease and provide a roadmap for you to live a healthier life that dramatically decreases your chances of developing diabetes.
A good place to begin this conversation is to explain the different types of diabetes. There are three main types of diabetes — Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. The most common is Type 2.
Type 1 diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent or juvenile-onset diabetes, is less common. This type of diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which insulin production is curtailed because immune cells attack, damage, and disable the cells in the pancreas that are responsible for making insulin.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common. It predominantly affects adults and is characterized by an imbalance in insulin. Either the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or production is fine but the cells don’t react to the insulin as they should.
This is a temporary condition that can happen during pregnancy and usually goes away after the baby is born. Having gestational diabetes puts you and your baby at higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.
Although diabetes is a serious condition, what makes it different from a majority of other chronic diseases is that you have the power to prevent it by making lifestyle changes. That’s very good news for the estimated 88 million American adults — more than one in three — who have prediabetes.
One of the most impactful things that you can do to prevent diabetes is to control your weight. If you’re overweight or obese, lose weight and keep it off. It’s easier said than done, but it’s so worth it. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, losing 5%-7% of your starting weight can prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes.
Learning how to eat healthy, balanced meals is key to living a diabetes-free life. Eating a diet with plenty of vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats will serve you well. Ditch the sugary drinks and processed foods. Your heart and body will thank you in years to come.
Complete your healthy lifestyle reset with a commitment to regular exercise and keeping active. If you’ve been living a sedentary life, it’s never too late to become active, but consult your doctor for recommendations on activities to get started.
Here at Cardio Metabolic Institute, we’ve created a special Diabetes Prevention Program so you don’t have to go it alone. Our evidence-based lifestyle change program provides a full year of support and instruction on how to eat healthy and add exercise to your life. We also help you stay motivated while providing tips to manage stress and solve issues that can get in the way of your health goals.
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or you would like to learn more about our Diabetes Prevention Program, contact the Cardio Metabolic Institute in Somerset, Monroe Township, or East Brunswick, New Jersey. Click the “Book online” button, or call us today.