Be part of the future of diabetes research. If you are an adult withtype 2 diabetes, you may be eligible to participate in a clinical research study. Call 310-550-2271 to find out if you qualify.
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So, you just got the word that your blood sugar is high and you have pre-diabetes. You’re most definitely not alone. Roughly 80 million Americans have it as well. But you might still be wondering what does that even mean and why is it important? In short and simple terms, pre-diabetes is a WAKE-UP call, a chance to make some changes that could not only prevent type 2 diabetes but will improve your overall quality and quantity of life.
In medical terms, pre-diabetes is blood sugar levels between 100 and 125 deciliters per milliliter. This isn’t something to be taken lightly because studies show that damage to your internal organs can begin even at this level. So, it’s super important to get your blood sugar levels down. In order to do so, there are four major things that you need to focus on:
1. Take your meds religiously (if needed). In many cases, medication isn’t needed at the pre-diabetic level but we’re finding more and more often it can be a useful tool to prevent organ damage. The good news is that if you need medication at this stage, you can often reverse that need by improving your diet and exercise.
2. Lose that belly fat! Even a small amount of weight loss can make a huge difference. I recommend starting with five to seven percent of your current weight. Keep it simple and break down your goals into manageable chunks. For instance, instead of shooting for 50 pounds, try starting with a goal of losing three to five pounds. You’ll find that it’s not too hard to see results quickly when you work on smaller goals at any given time.
3. Improve your diet. What you eat is just as important (and even more so) as how much you eat. It’s crucial that you’re eating balanced meals that provide all of the essential nutrients. This will help to prevent binge eating, keep you feeling satiated and satisfied for longer, improve energy etc. I strongly recommend working with a nutritionist who can help you to create an individualized meal plan that meets your specific needs, lifestyle and taste.
4. Get up and get moving. Exercise is critical to improving your blood sugar levels and your overall health. Studies show that regular exercise reduces your riskof developing diabetes by up to 80%! So, make yourself a priority and stick to a regular exercise routine.
I recommend 30 to 45 minutes of exercise every day — seven days a week. This doesn’t have to be painful or difficult. Find something that you enjoy and work it into your schedule. You can even do it in 10 to 15 minute increments throughout the day. Try making fitness decisions that you can fit into your daily life such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking further away, taking your dog for a walk, going for a bike ride with your kids etc.
It won’t happen overnight but if you’ll take the steps right away to improve your overall health, you’ll find that not only will your blood sugar levels drop, but you’ll begin feeling better and more vibrant. And you’ll greatly decrease the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes and all of the risks and side effects that come with it.
For more tips on reversing pre-diabetes, check out my book The Diabetes Solution.
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We all talk about diabetes and very few of us really know what it is, what causes it, or why it is so dangerous. Over the next few months I am dedicating my blog almost exclusively to in depth discussions about diabetes. That’s how important it is. I would love it if you became an active participant by asking me questions and sharing my blog with your friends and acquaintances. You never know who you might be helping.
If you’re reading this, you likely either have diabetes yourself, have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or have a loved one dealing with diabetes. It is a disease with monumental effects that continues to grow exponentially. According to the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP), “The number of people diagnosed with diabetes has risen from 1.5 million in 1958 to 18.8 million in 2010, an increase of epidemic proportions.” Plus, there are at least 80 million people with “prediabetes”.
Over the years, awareness of the disease has definitely improved, but we still have a long way to go as the numbers continue to rise and the statistics are alarming.
The numbers are staggering.
1. Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States and the American Diabetes Association says the numbers may be underreported.
2. 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3% of the population, have diabetes. 8.1 million of those don’t even know they have it!
3. There are 1.7 million new diagnoses each year.
4. 86 million Americans — that’s 1 in 3 adults — have pre-diabetes… and 90% of them don’t know they have it. This may be the most alarming statistic of all because in many cases the disease can be reversed at this stage with some simple lifestyle changes.
The effects of diabetes are debilitating.
- 71 percent of adults diagnosed with the disease also suffer from high blood pressure.
- Diabetics are 1.7 times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than the general population.
- Heart attack rates are 1.8 times higher among diabetics.
- Diabetics are 1.5 times more likely to suffer from a stroke than the general population.
- Between 2005 and 2008, 4.2 million diabetics over the age of 40 had diabetic retinopathy — damage to the small blood vessels in the retina that can lead to loss of vision.
- Diabetes was listed as the primary cause of kidney failure in 44 percent of all new cases in 2011.
- In 2010, about 73,000 non-traumatic amputations were performed on adults with diagnosed diabetes.
- And the list goes on….
The impact is widespread.
Approximately one in every nine adults has diabetes and many more have prediabetes. What does that mean for you? It means that even if you don’t personally suffer from the disease, chances are you know someone — or several people — that does.
Diabetes has a great and sometimes devastating impact on individuals, families and society as a whole. And the impact is not only physical in nature, but also emotional, psychological and financial. And recent studies show that prevention and treatment tactics work best when they are tackled as a team rather than by individuals alone.
Get tested.If you have never been tested for diabetes, do it now. This disease affects all ages and starts wreaking havoc long before any symptoms appear. In this case, what you don’t know can definitely hurt you. On the other hand, early diagnosis can go a long way toward managing, and possibly curing, symptoms. At the very least, it will be educational for you to know where your blood sugar levels lie and how you can keep them at healthy levels.
Make healthy lifestyle changes.It’s never too early, or too late, to start implementing lifestyle changes that have a far-reaching impact, such as increased physical activity, eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, eating less processed foods, limiting sweets, etc. This is even more critical if you suffer with obesity or have a family history of diabetes.
Subscribe.Follow me on my blog, on Twitterand on Facebook. I have several posts in the pipeline that offer tips for managing diabetes, making diet and lifestyle tweaks as well as some easy and delicious recipes.
Get the book. Order my book “The Diabetes Solution.
” It goes into great depth on how to manage diabetes and includes an easy-to-follow lifestyle and eating plan with simple and enjoyable recipes.
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What is it that keeps people from getting tested for diabetes? I’m no psychologist, but I’d venture that while there are countless reasons for this avoidance, fear of the unknown is among the top reasons. I can’t possibly discuss every single fear, but I can give you a quick glimpse into the test itself and put your mind at ease about its simplicity.
The diabetes test does involve a needle and a little bit of blood, but in most cases it’s quick and relatively painless. There are a few different tests available:
– The AC1 test, also known as the glycated hemoglobin test, is the gold standard because it indicates your average blood sugar levels for a period of two to three months rather than a single point in time. The test itself is simple and doesn’t require any preparation — you can eat and drink normally before the test. It requires a simple blood sample and takes only a few minutes of your time. The blood sample is sent to a lab for analysis — anything greater than 6.5 percent indicates diabetes.
Certain conditions — such as pregnancy or an uncommon form of hemoglobin — make the A1C test inaccurate, however.
– A random blood sugar test examines blood sugar levels at a single point in time. It doesn’t require any preparation and results are available right away. Anything greater than 200 milligrams per deciliter is indicative of diabetes, especially when other symptoms are present.
– The fasting blood sugar test is performed after an overnight fast of at least 8 hours. Like a random blood test, this test only indicates blood sugar levels for a single point in time. Anything greater than 126 mg/dL on two separate tests results in a diagnosis for diabetes.
– The oral glucose tolerance test is the least common of the four tests and it isn’t used very often anymore. In this test, blood sugar levels are measured after an overnight fast and then periodically tested over a two-hour period after drinking a sugary liquid. Diabetes is diagnosed when levels are greater than 200 mg/dL.
The American Diabetes Association recommends testing every three years for non-diabetics over the age of 45, especially if you are overweight. You should be tested sooner if you are overweight and have any other risk factors for type 2 diabetes and/or heart disease.
I get it. Going to the doctor isn’t your idea of fun. It’s scary, time-consuming and costs some money. But routine screening is imperative when it comes to diabetes. It can be controlled and reversed, but only if it’s caught early enough. The silent and painless nature of the disease, however, means it can sneak up on you and cause countless amounts of damage and even death, if it isn’t diagnosed and treated.
I urge you to please put your fears and procrastination aside and go get tested. I promise it’s not as scary as you think.
Don’t forget to order my book The Diabetes Solution – it is full of useful tips and recipes to make for simple and delicious management of diabetes and pre-diabetes!
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I’ve said this before but diabetes is a serious worldwide epidemic and it only continues to get worse. While both forms of the disease are dangerous, it’s adult onset diabetes — or type 2– that is growing at a staggering rate. And it’s that type that can largely be prevented, controlled and in some cases reversed. It all starts with understanding the intricacies of the disease. Here’s a breakdown of the differences between types 1 and 2.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which the body either cannot produce insulin, does not produce enough insulin or doesn’t react properly to insulin. There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.
Type 1 diabetes, also referred to as juvenile diabetes, is the rarest form. The onset usually occurs before the age of 40 – mostly in children and young adults. With this form of diabetes, the body does not produce insulin because the immune system destroys the cells that make production possible.
Type 1 diabetics require insulin injections for the rest of their lives. There is no cure for the disease.
Type 2 diabetes, also referred to as adult-onset diabetes, is a growing epidemic in the United States and other westernized countries. Ninety percent of all diabetes cases are type 2. It is most commonly diagnosed during the adult years but is becoming more and more common in children. With this form of diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin, does not react properly to insulin or both. Type 2 diabetes can often be treated with lifestyle changes and/or weight loss. Oral medication and/or insulin injections may also be necessary to treat type 2 diabetes.
Anyone can get type 2 diabetes, but there are certain factors that increase the risks including obesity, poor exercise habits, high blood pressure, age (over 45) and family history. According to the Mayo Clinic, not much is known about the risk factors for type 1 diabetes although family history and genetics play a role in that risk.
Symptoms for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are similar, with a few exceptions, and include:
– Increased thirst
– Frequent urination
– Increased hunger
– Weight loss (especially in type 1)
– Blurred vision
– Slow-healing sores and frequent infections (type 2)
– Areas of darkened skin (type 2)
Symptoms for type 2 diabetes often develop slowly. In fact, it is quite possible to have the disease for several years without knowing it. On the other hand, symptoms for type 1 diabetes come on quickly. If you experience a combination of these symptoms, you should consult with your doctor. Diabetes can be very dangerous. If not treated, it can lead to heart disease, kidney and nerve damage, eye and foot damage, skin and mouth conditions and even death.Stay tuned for more in-depth posts about living with diabetes. And don’t forget to order my book
, The Diabetes Solution!
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I’m a firm believer that knowledge is the key to healing when it comes to any disease. Diabetes is no different. My main goal for writing my book, as well as this blog, is to educate. I want you to understand exactly what diabetes is and exactly how it works. Only then can I properly motivate and encourage you to take the appropriate steps toward healing.
In simple terms, diabetes means high blood sugar. Specifically, 126 milligrams per deciliter or higher. The normal range is 64 to 99 mg/dl. Anything between those two ranges of normal and diabetic is pre-diabetes.
To be more exact, diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which the body either produces an inadequate amount of insulin or doesn’t respond properly to the insulin it produces. Insulin is essential because it facilitates cell absorption of glucose. Basically, your cells cannot absorb glucose from your bloodstream without it. Glucose comes from the food you eat and is very important because your cells use it for energy and growth.
Let’s paint a picture. Nearly all foods are broken down into glucose during the digestion process. That glucose goes into the bloodstream. A healthy, properly functioning pancreas then automatically produces enough insulin to move the glucose from the bloodstream into the cells where it can be used for energy and growth. As soon as glucose enters the cells, blood glucose levels drop.
Diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, when the cells don’t respond to the insulin or a combination of both. No matter the cause, the result is that too much glucose remains in the bloodstream. Needless to say, any level of blood sugar above normal can cause havoc on the body. That’s why awareness is key. Everyone should know the risk factors and how to prevent high blood sugar with healthy eating and exercise. We’ll get into that in another post.
But the first step is knowing where you stand. If you haven’t had your blood sugar levels tested recently, why not set an appointment now? This is a disease that affects nearly everyone in one way or another (check out the statistics in my previous post.) You can’t wait for symptoms to appear because there are none in the beginning. That’s why I like to call diabetes a “silent killer”. It’s sneaks in quietly and starts causing lots of damage without a sign. The first symptoms don’t usually appear until you’ve already had the disease for years — by then the disease will have already begun to damage critical organs and body systems. So go get your blood tested!
If you or a loved one already have diabetes, I urge you to order my book The Diabetes Solution. I promise, it will be life-changing!
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