When most people hear an alarm, their first instinct is to determine if their lives are in jeopardy. When a fire alarm goes off, you quickly try to determine the extent and location of the fire. When the emergency broadcast system conducts a test you listen to find out if it is a test or if something grave requiring a responsive action.
It is troubling then that for as long as the medical community has been sounding the alarm on diabetes, it is one that a large portion of the population still refuses to heed.
A September MedlinePlus article gives the latest round of bad news on a disease that is poised to significantly impact large swaths of the American population. In a stunning headline, the site reports that a full 50% of adults in the US either have diabetes or are at a high risk of developing the disease.
Not a moderate risk. Not an elevated risk. A high risk.
At issue is the condition called prediabetes. Prediabetes exists when a patient has elevated blood sugar levels that are on the cusp of becoming full-blown diabetes but have not yet crossed that threshold.
The statistics of prediabetes are sobering. 38% of adults are prediabetic and most of them do not know that they sit on the brink of a disease that will have a profound impact on their lives. Of those that have developed full-blown diabetes, a third of them don’t even know that they have it.
Perhaps what is most sad about these numbers, however, is that Type II diabetes is, for most people, entirely preventable. Medical literature tells us that the primary causes of Type II diabetes include a poor diet, a lack of exercise, and obesity – all conditions that can be controlled primarily through lifestyle changes.
Medications exist to treat diabetes but as any reader of this blog can tell you, the risks of those medications; and their impact on your life or the lives of those you love, can far outweigh any benefit.
We tell you a lot on this site to consult with your doctor before making any changes to your medication. It’s sound advice – doctors exist to ensure the health and safety of their patients and your medical advice should come from a trained medical professional; not a legal blog. But today we’re going to tell you to consult with your doctor before starting an exercise program. Discuss your fitness goals with your doctor and work to find the right combination of exercise, nutrition, and other healthy living habits. Why become part of the diabetic 50% when a walk around your neighborhood and a salad for dinner can start you down the path toward a healthier, happier life?