Diabetes is rising at an alarming rate and quickly becoming the biggest epidemic disease of the 21st century. Diagnosed due to elevated blood glucose levels in your body, diabetes affects about one in seven adults in the U.S alone and about 246 million people worldwide. In fact, if the trend continues, the number of diabetics around the world would reach to around 380 millions in the next 20 years.
The disease affects both developed and developing countries alike. According to the International Diabetes Federation, India has the highest number of diabetics in the world, closely followed by China, the United States, Russia, Germany, and Japan.
Factors that Lead to Diabetes
Often blamed to be caused due to consumption of high sugar containing food items, Diabetes, in fact, is a lifestyle related disorder, which is often caused due to:
- Sedentary lifestyle
- A strong family history of diabetes
- Chronic blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Insulin resistance
- Gestational diabetes
- Polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD)
- Race – American Indians, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and African Americans are more prone to diabetes than others
Effects of Diabetes on your Health
Diabetes is usually called the ‘Silent killer’ because its signs and symptoms often go unnoticed and are initially harmless. Some of the symptoms of diabetes include:
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent urination
- Unusual weight loss
- Extreme hunger pangs
- Increased fatigue
- Irritability, and
- Blurred vision
But the long term effects of diabetes on your health are grave and agonizing. Long standing, untreated or poorly managed diabetes can lead to various other health complications in patients, like heart disease, stroke, risk of infections, kidney disease, renal failure, vascular/ blood vessel disease, and vision loss. These diseases, if not detected and treated in a timely manner, can even lead to death.
How to Stop the Diabetes Epidemic
The bad news is that diabetes can never be reversed; once a diabetic, always a diabetic. It can either be prevented or controlled through medication and intensive lifestyle modification. Therefore, it is must for people with diabetes to follow an active lifestyle regime consisting of healthy diet and regular exercise, along with scheduled medical checkups on regular basis.
Prevention is better than cure, they say. So, whether you are at the risk of developing Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes or not, incorporating the below mentioned changes in your life can help you hugely prevent and reverse the speed of diabetes progression:
Watch your weight
Excess weight is the single largest factor behind Type 2 diabetes. In fact, being overweight puts you at the risk of developing diabetes by 20 to 40 times more than others. Exercise regularly; making your muscles work harder helps in improving their ability to use insulin and absorb glucose. So join gym, do brisk walking, or perform any other form of exercise and bring your weight well within the ideal range. In fact, studies show that losing 7%-10% weight can reduce your risk of developing diabetes to half.
At Epic Health, we offer medically-assisted weight management programs to help you easily reach your weight loss goals. We thoroughly understand that every individual is different, and so are his/her needs. That’s why, keeping your fitness goals and health conditions in mind, our EPIC Advance Care Team designs personalized weight loss programs to help you monitor and manage your weight and ensure that you lose weight in a safe and healthy manner.
Tone your diet
Processed food, carbonated drinks, and other unhealthy food choices put you at an increased risk of developing diabetes. To prevent or control the disease, swap your unhealthy eating habits with healthy substitutes:
- Choose whole grain food products over highly processed carbohydrates.
- Say no to sugary drinks and aerated beverages and prefer water instead.
- Limit the consumption of red meat and choose whole grains, nuts, poultry and eggs.
- Opt for ‘good’ fats over saturated ‘bad’ fats. You can easily find good fats or polyunsaturated fats in vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds.
- Quit smoking – Smokers are at 50% more risk of developing diabetes than non-smokers.
- Consume alcohol in moderation.
Join Epic’s Nutritional counseling program to understand how nutritious diet and healthy eating habits can have a positive impact on your health and well-being. Our in-house dieticians can create customized diets to not only help you prevent/control the disease but also to ensure that you are getting quantified nutrition through food.
Focus on diabetes care and education
If statistics are to be believed, even in this technologically advanced era, more than 6 million cases of diabetes still remain undiagnosed. The main reason behind this whooping number is lack of primary health education among people and their reluctance to visit health care provider on regular basis.
Therefore, if you have diabetes, a history of diabetes, or if you follow a sedentary lifestyle with unhealthy eating habits, it is more than important for you to partner with your health care provider and schedule regular health checkups.
Get in touch with Epic Advanced Diabetes Care Team today and receive the highest level of diabetes care, education, and treatment. Our integrated Diabetes care system helps control disease and improve diabetes outcome. With an advanced Care Team of certified and highly experienced clinicians, exercise physiologists, dietitians, pharmacists, care coordinators and social workers, we help our patients get the best possible health care. With the right blend of science and modern technology, we focus on educating our patients about diabetes, its effects on our heath and how preventive health care and diet can help you stay healthy and live a disease-free life.
Our primary health care providers and specialized team of doctors can help you:
- Schedule regular blood sugar tests and lab exams to keep a track of your blood sugar and HbA1C levels
- Monitor your blood pressure, cholesterol, and body fat percentage at regular intervals
- Perform regular urine tests to rule out any chances of kidney disease
- Prepare a healthy meal plan and activity program to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle
- Follow a personalized treatment plan to avoid health related issues later on.
Also view our presentation on Diabetic Care and Education at EPIC Health