There is a good chance that you either suffer from diabetes yourself or are acquainted with someone who does. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that [cite], [cite], and [cite] “Diabetes affects more than 37 million Americans, or roughly one in ten of the population, and around 90–95% of those affected have type 2 diabetes. People over the age of 45 are most likely to develop type 2 diabetes, but the disease is also increasingly prevalent in younger age groups, including children, adolescents, and young adults.” Diabetes can cause major health problems if it is not addressed, therefore being aware of the symptoms and knowing how to prevent the illness can be a matter of life and death. Consume This, and Not That! Health had a conversation with Eric Stahl, MD, a non-invasive cardiologist at Staten Island University Hospital, about diabetes, and he shared what people should know. Continue reading, and make sure you don’t miss any of these sure signs that you’ve already had COVID in order to protect not only your own health but also the health of others.
As Dr. Stahl elucidates, “A condition known as diabetes is characterised by abnormalities in the body’s ability to control the amount of sugar in the blood. In order for cells to take up sugar, insulin is required. Blood sugar levels rise when the body is either unable to produce insulin (as in the case of type I diabetes) or when it becomes resistant to the effects of insulin (as in the case of type 2 diabetes). The harm that high blood sugar levels bring to organs like the heart, kidneys, eyes, blood vessels, and nerves develops gradually over time.”
It has been said by Dr. Stahl that “The most important factor in getting diabetes is already having a body mass index that is above the healthy range. In addition, factors such as inactivity, poor diet, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and stress all contribute to an increased likelihood of developing diabetes. Last but not least, people who have an increased risk for diabetes because of their family history or their ancestry (African-American, Asian-American, Latino/Hispanic-American, Native American, or Pacific-Islander descent) should be screened more frequently than others. This is because of the increased likelihood that they will develop the disease.”
According to Dr. Stahl, untreated diabetes and high blood sugar levels can result in a variety of major medical complications if left untreated over time. Some of these complications include heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, peripheral artery disease, eye damage, and nerve damage.
Dr. Stahl informs us, “People who have diabetes, even if it is not under control, may not experience any symptoms for quite some time. Some people may suffer an increase in their appetite, thirst, and urination, as well as weariness, impaired vision, and a decrease in their weight.”
According to what Dr. Stahl suggests, “Screening for diabetes should begin at age 45 for everyone in the population because of the sneaky way in which the disease might manifest itself. Screening is also recommended for people younger than 45 years old who are overweight and have additional risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, a family history of diabetes, a certain racial or ethnic background (African-American, Asian-American, Latino/Hispanic-American, Native American, or Pacific-Islander descent), or a personal history of gestational diabetes. Screening should also be done for people younger than 45 years old who have a family history of diabetes. A blood test is used to screen for diabetes. The test can measure either the blood sugar level after fasting or the haemoglobin A1C level, which is the average blood sugar level over the previous two to three months.”
Dr. Stahl notes, “There are a variety of risk factors that can put a person at risk for developing diabetes. Insulin resistance is often caused by obesity, leading a sedentary lifestyle, and eating an unhealthy diet (failure to respond to insulin). In most cases, a history of diabetes in the family and/or genetics are to blame for defective or decreased insulin production. The combination causes an increase in blood sugar levels, which ultimately results in diabetes and additional disruption in the synthesis of insulin as well as its effectiveness.”
Dr. Stahl explains, “Alterations to one’s way of life are the single most critical step in the diabetes prevention process. A big difference can be made with even a little amount of weight loss and an increase in physical activity. Controlling blood pressure, reducing cholesterol levels, and giving up smoking are three more lifestyle changes that can help avoid diabetes.”
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Reporting and writing about topics such as health, fitness, entertainment, and travel have been Heather Newgen’s career for the past two decades. At the moment, Heather contributes her writing skills to a number of different magazines. Learn further about Heather here.