Will You Be One of the Two Out of Every Five Americans With Diabetes?
Diabetes and prediabetes is a scourge on the U.S. today, and the present numbers are pretty scary. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) it is estimated that there are 86 million people with prediabetes and nearly 29 million Americans who currently are already diabetic. These numbers are frighteningly high and caring for all the diabetics and those who are expected to become diabetic is putting an immense strain on an already stretched thin healthcare system.
The continuing epidemic of obesity in America is largely seen as the major cause of diabetes, in fact it has led doctors to coining the term “diabesity,” although there are some hereditary factors that contribute to the number of diabetics and people with prediabetes. It would also seem that there are additional concerns for minorities having higher rates of developing diabetes; fifty percent of black women and half of both Hispanic women and men are expected to develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetimes according to a study published online by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
Not All The News of The Study Was Bad
For the researchers, the study had some surprising findings, it goes without saying that the researchers were certainly expecting to see an increase in type 2 diabetes over the quarter century that was studied, but they were not expecting the increase to be as high as the study revealed, such as during the quarter century studied type 2 diabetes in an average twenty year old male went from 21 percent towards the end of the 1980’s to nearly 40 percent by 2011, and from 27 percent in the average twenty year old female during the same study period also to 40 percent in 2011.
The results of the study were not all negative however, researchers also found that patients diagnosed with diabetes at age 40 had been estimated to lose eight years of their lives due to diabetes in the 1990’s had decreased to a loss of six years in the 2000’s for males and from nearly nine years to close to seven years in the females. People with diabetes are living longer primarily due to advances in medications used to treat diabetes and the medical devices to monitor their blood sugar levels, but diabetes awareness is also seen as a significant factor.
Light at the End of the Tunnel
Despite the obesity epidemic, today people are trending towards educating themselves on their healthcare and combating disease through more preventative measures than ever before by combining western medicine with holistic therapies. The public’s increased interest and better understanding of how important diet and exercise are is resulting in better health outcomes both for people who are prediabetic and diabetics alike.
But, healthcare experts and public health officials agree there is much that needs to be done. Healthcare advocates need to find news to reach Americans and guide them away from the quick fix mentality and fast food society seems to be saturated with. Doctors need to better assist patients with effective and doable weight management strategies rather than placing them on restrictive diets that don’t work long term. And while weight-loss surgery may have its place in weight loss solutions for some patients as it is highly effective and relatively safe, it will not be a solution for most of the public at risk for prediabetes, diabetes mellitus and other potentially deadly diseases.
Solutions People Can Actually Achieve
It is much more likely the solution will come from simple baby steps, gradual change that anyone can achieve whether they are prediabetic, diabetic, or simply needing to improve their health and eating habits. More and more studies are showing that certain foods can promote better health, prevent and even reverse diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and many other diseases plaguing America today. Doctors are now beginning to incorporate holistic healing in treating their patients and placing more emphasis on utilizing holistic antioxidant foods in our daily diets.
Along with adding these superfood antioxidant foods to our diet, another new approach is getting patients to examine the harmful foods or habits in their lives and eliminating just one of them at six months to a year intervals. This slow gradual step approach has been successful in long term weight loss, because the one at a time change does not seem insurmountable or like a depriving punishment, it simply becomes a lifestyle change and therefore patients do not get frustrated, feel deprived and most importantly they don’t give up. The same approach is being taken with exercise. Getting patients to add one pleasurable activity in their daily routine, whether it’s taking a thirty minute walk, playing hoops with the kids for 15 minutes, whatever they can commit to doing daily to increase their activity level and gradually increasing the amount of time or adding another simple activity. The idea is to keep it simple and not a drudge simply adding thirty minutes of exercise to your routine will not only help keep your blood sugar levels down it will quickly add up to permanent weight loss.
The grim statistics current and future can easily be turned around if doctors and patients alike simply utilize all the tools available to them for promoting a healthy lifestyle, not deprivation dieting. It really is this simple, eat healthy, enjoy getting some exercise and get the proper amount of sleep, enough said.