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New Year, New Focus on Managing Your Diabetes

It’s a new year and if you’re like most, you’re considering at least one way that you might try to improve your life as we move through 2017. For many, that also means considering how they can better manage their health and wellness; including how they’re treating their diabetes.

As the number of diabetics continues to rise in the U.S., prevention has in many cases turned to management. In fact, some statistics indicate that a full 50% of adults in the United States either already had diabetes or were at a high risk of developing the condition and were actively moving through the stages of prediabetes.

Yet the causes of Type II diabetes remain the same as they have always been, and they remain largely preventable. Obesity, poor diet, a lack of exercise…all things that people can work to control. And, they are all things that, if left unchecked, can position that person for a lifetime of pain and suffering; not to mention an increasingly lengthy list of health risks that can include heart attacks, numbness, and even blindness.

Newest on that list, however, are the effects of diabetes on the brain and mind.

Having run a two-year study of diabetes’ effects on patients’ cognitive abilities, neuropsychologist Luke Stoeckel wants to increase physicians’ awareness of how diabetes attacks neurological functions in patients’ brains. “Your average diabetologist, internal medicine doctor, they’re still not aware of that information,” he says. “That’s eye-opening to people.”

Highest on his list of concerns is the onset of dementia. Once a topic that warranted little study and concern, the link between Type II diabetes and dementia is now getting much more attention. As one psychologist said in reference to the amount of work being done in this newly discovered arena, “I feel much less like I’m a lone wolf in this right now.”

From physical health risks to mental, Type II diabetes introduces an onslaught of problems into a patient’s life that they otherwise might not have had to contend with – and it only starts with having to manually maintain one’s insulin levels. Why not make 2017 the year you take significant steps toward decreasing your risk of developing this life-altering and, at times, life-threatening condition? Speak with a health care provider about ways you can eat better, lose weight if necessary, and introduce healthy exercise and activities into your life.

Your body – and mind – will thank you.