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Diabetes

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Do you know someone with diabetes?  Chances are… you do.

In a recent study it is expected that more than HALF of the U.S. population will have diabetes or be pre-diabetic by the year 2020.  Yes, by the year 2020, that’s only 7 years away!   According to new research taken from 10 million  UnitedHealthcare members, the average annual healthcare costs in 2009 for a person with diabetes were about $11,700 compared with about $4,400 for the  non-diabetic public.  With health care costs steadily rising this alone should be motivation enough for everyone to change their diets, get more active, and take control of their health!

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Millions of Americans have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and many more are unaware they are at high risk.

In type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. Insulin is necessary for the body to be able to use glucose for energy. When you eat food, the body breaks down all of the sugars and starches into glucose, which is the basic fuel for the cells in the body. Insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the cells. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it can lead to diabetes complications.

Besides the costs of treating diabetes, the most important facts to take away from this report is that after many years, diabetes can lead to serious  problems throughout your body, including your eyes, kidneys, and nerves.

These complications may include:

PROBLEMS WITH VISION

Diabetes can also damage blood vessels in the eyes,  causing vision problems or blindness. Conditions may include:

  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Macular  edema

PROBLEMS WITH YOUR FEET AND SKIN

People with diabetes are  more likely to have foot problems because of nerve and blood vessel  damage. Small sores or breaks in the skin may turn into deep skin ulcers  if not treated properly. If these skin ulcers do not improve, or become  larger or go deeper, amputation of the affected limb may be needed.  

PROBLEMS WITH YOUR HEART AND BLOOD VESSELS

If you  have diabetes, your risk of a heart attack is the same as someone who has already had a heart attack.  Both women  and men with diabetes are at risk. You may not even have the typical  signs of a heart attack. Other problem with the heart and blood vessels  include:

  • Damage to blood vessels that supply the legs and  feet
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High  cholesterol
  • Stroke

PROBLEMS WITH NERVES

Diabetes can damage nerves, which means you may not feel  an injury until a large sore or infection develops. Nerve damage causes  pain and numbness in the feet, as well as a number of other problems  with the stomach and intestines, heart, and other organs. 

OTHER POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS

  • Infections of the  female genital tract, the skin, or the urinary tract
  • Kidney  disease and kidney failure
  • Problems attaining or maintaining an erection 
If you don’t have diabetes be thankful and mindful not to let this happen to you.  If you need to make the changes necessary to prevent this from happening to you DO NOT WAIT until you are part of the statistic!  You can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes through a healthy lifestyle. Change your diet, increase your level of physical  activity, maintain a healthy weight…with these positive steps, you can  stay healthier longer and reduce your risk of diabetes for you and your loved ones.  If you are pre-diabetic or have already been diagnosed with diabetes, get active and eat healthy.  Talk to your doctor about the Kathy Smith’s Project: YOU!  Type 2 workout and nutrition program (designed specifically for both pre-diabetics and diabetics) to see if it right for you!
If you know someone with diabetes, or someone at risk of diabetes, please help them and give them your support to change their lifestyle today! 
Please visit the American Diabetes Association for more information on this growing epidemic!
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