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Diabetes on the Rise

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Published on July 07, 2010 with No Comments

Seniors at higher risk
The rate of new cases of diagnosed diabetes rose by more than 90 percent among adults over the last 10 years, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Seniors are at added risk as approximately 18.3 percent of Americans age 60 and older have diabetes.

Yet, there are ways to reduce your risk factors for diabetes, according to Diabetes Educator Donna Doty. Research shows that people at risk for Type 2 diabetes (the most common kind) can prevent or delay diabetes through lifestyle changes. “Keep your weight at a healthy range, exercise regularly, and watch your stress level,” recommends Doty. She advises keeping your Body Mass Index (a measure of body fat, calculated using your height and weight) below 25.

“A lot of the reason for our increase in diabetes is lifestyle related,” said Doty. “We used to walk more and do more physical jobs. We may be faster and more productive today, but we’re less healthy. Plus our portion sizes were smaller. The truth is that we should be exercising more and eating less,” she said.

What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disorder that prevents your body from turning your food into energy. Instead glucose stays in your bloodstream and if left untreated, can result in a range of complications such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, nerve problems, gum infections, and more. Diabetes affects over 150 million people in the world today.

Signs of Diabetes?
• Frequent urination
• Unusual thirst
• Extreme hunger
• Unusual weight loss
• Extreme fatigue and irritability
• Frequent infections
• Blurred vision
• Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
• Tingling/numbness in the hands/feet
• Recurring skin, gum, or bladder infections

“Seniors often think that their symptoms, such as frequent urination, are natural signs of
aging. But if you have any of these symptoms, consult your doctor,” said Doty.

Porter’s Diabetes Educators are available at 263-4974 to answer your questions and provide support in building a healthy lifestyle.

Reprinted with permission from Porter Health Senior Circle

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