Your Defense Against the Greatest Epidemic
More than 9 percent of Americans have diabetes, and well more than one-fourth of sufferers – more than eight million people – are undiagnosed. The growth of this disease in the U.S. is steep, rising from about 5 percent in 1994 to almost double that today.
Monitoring your blood glucose level is a wise piece of prevention, even when it has always been normal. Something about the lifestyles and diets of today is causing an epidemic of type 2 diabetes. In fact, it has been called the greatest epidemic in human history. So, there’s every reason to keep tabs on blood sugar, whether you are suspicious or not.
Once a person develops type 2 diabetes, or even pre-diabetes, staying on top of blood sugar levels takes much more time and attention. It becomes a daily, even hourly concern. And the stakes are much higher than before.
The Price of High Blood Sugar
High blood sugar levels can accelerate formation of fatty deposits on the blood vessel walls. Deposits like this from type 2 diabetes cut down on blood circulation to the legs and feet. Amputation is only the second-worst-case scenario from deposits such as this. Coronary artery disease may be the worst. Two of our society’s biggest killers weigh in – heart attack and stroke – among the many complications when diabetes goes unchecked.
The brain, heart, liver, and even the feet can suffer from diabetes. The eyes, too, are damaged. Small blood vessels at the back of the eye can swell or burst, and the disease that results is the No. 1 cause of blindness among adults. The price of staying unaware of your blood glucose level is just too high to pay.
Preventing the Disease and Managing the Threat
Reducing the intake of carbohydrates helps cut the workload of the pancreas and lets it do its job more effectively to dispose of excess blood glucose. Vegetables, greens, and water – good hydration – all play a bigger role in diets that keep blood sugar levels in check. Fiber from whole grains and beans can slow the absorption of carbohydrates and keep blood sugar from spiking. And smaller meals spread more evenly through the day can have the same benefit.
Regular exercise and a healthy meal plan can keep the threat of diabetes at bay. Just a half-hour walk each day can make a world of difference for many people. Once high blood glucose levels are noted, the same good practices can help regulate blood sugar and hold off the threat of fully developed type 2 diabetes.
As with many life-saving health habits, keeping your blood glucose in check begins with awareness. If you haven’t started monitoring it, it’s time to start. And if you’ve gotten busy and let it slip, it’s time to get back on-track.
Why not schedule an appointment with us at Global Family Medicine to start keeping tabs on your blood glucose levels? Call us at 843-815-6468.