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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Diabetes Awareness Day

Sorry I missed it but Tuesday was Diabetes Awareness Day and the American Diabetes Association encouraged everyone to take a quick online test to determine your level of risk for having or developing diabetes.  I took the test myself and scored 2; anything below 4 is a low risk.  I strongly encourage everyone to take the test which takes less than 5 minutes.  So many Americans already have diabetes or are pre-diabetic and are totally unaware of it.

I have ranted before about the dangers of diabetes and how terrible the disease is but I guess I can never do it enough if just one person listens each time.  Diabetes often leads to heart disease, kidney disease and blindness.  Diabetes is also the leading cause of non-injury related amputations.

To take the test, go to Diabetes Risk Test - American Diabetes Association.  Please share this important information with your friends and family.  You could save a life.

Once again, eating a proper diet is a key to preventing Type II diabetes.  The rate of diabetes is soaring in the U.S. due to poor eating habits, lack of exercise, and ignorance of the disease.  Diabetes affects certain ethnic groups such as Hispanics and Blacks more than Caucasians but don't think that lets you off the hook if you are white.

I know people think that eating the kind of food I recommend and exercising is too much trouble.  They don't want to go to the effort to cook and prefer their fast food and sedentary lifestyle.  But I can tell you with 100% certainty that they will not like their lifestyle at all when it revolves around doctor visits, expensive medication, hospitalization, and restrictions on what they are capable of doing.  Health problems don't just affect the patient, they cause stress and financial difficulties for the whole family.  No one wants to be a burden to their loved ones so do the right thing.

The symptoms of diabetes include:
1. frequent urination
2. unusual thirst
3. extreme hunger
4. unusual weight loss
5. extreme fatigue or irritability
6.  frequent infections
7. blurred vision
8. cuts or bruises that are slow to heal
9. tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
Type II diabetics often have no symptoms but if you have 2 or more of these symptoms, please discuss it with your doctor as soon as possible.

People with the following risk factors may develop diabetes.
1. family history of diabetes
2. injury to or disease in the pancreas
3. obesity - this is the single best predictor of type 2 diabetes
4. being insulin resistant
5. high blood pressure
6. sedentary lifestyle
7. age - those over 45 are more likely to develop diabetes but due to the obesity epidemic, type 2 diabetes is spreading in increasingly younger people as is heart disease

Take the time to take care of yourself before it is too late.  I plan to enjoy life to the fullest, not sit in a wheelchair without my legs or dragging an oxygen tank everywhere.  I hope you can too.

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