1 in 5 of my Facebook Friends are at risk for Developing Type 2 Diabetes

1 in 5 of my Facebook Friends are at risk for Developing Type 2 Diabetes

I want my family and friends to have the happiest and healthiest life possible.  That’s why it’s so disturbing to learn that many of my loved ones are currently at risk for type 2 diabetes.  This disease can be prevented or managed – and a person doesn’t have to run marathons or eat a vegetarian diet to do so. Simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference towards better health.  Today is American Diabetes Association Alert Day, a day devoted to spreading awareness of this global problem.  Learn about type 2 diabetes and if you are at risk for developing the disease at www.stopdiabetes.com

Check out these five secrets to stop diabetes from the American Diabetes Association’s vast collection of expert advice. What better time to put these tips into action than during this year’s American Diabetes Association Alert Day?

Also, find out more about Diabetes Alert Day, take the Diabetes Risk Test to determine your level of risk for type 2 diabetes, and learn what steps to take next.

Are you an Apple or a Pear?

Did you know that being an apple rather than a pear shape – more fat around your middle than around your hips – raises your risk of type 2 diabetes? To determine your shape, take a tape measure (a flexible one is best) and place it snugly (not tightly) around your waist. Compare the width of your waist to the number below. If the width of your waist is the same or bigger than the numbers below, you have too much weight around your waist and are at a greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

  • Men: over 40 inches
  • Women: over 35 inches

 

Have you seen the size of your plate inflate?

As portion sizes have grown in recent years, so has our perception of what is the appropriate amount to eat in one sitting. Even dishes and glasses have increased in size, so a normal-size portion looks inadequate, fueling the urge to fill a plate or glass with extra calories and raising your risk for type 2 diabetes.

Although measuring cups and spoons may be useful at home, they aren’t very realistic when you eat out. A simple trick is to use your hand to help approximate portion sizes.

  • A fist = 1 cup
  • Palm of a woman’s hand = 3 ounces
  • Palm of a man’s hand = 5 ounces
  • Thumb tip = 1 teaspoon
  • Thumb tip = 1 teaspoon

Source: Copyright © 2009 American Diabetes Association. From What Do I Eat Now?

Have you ever developed gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes (GDM) is diabetes that develops during pregnancy. In most cases, these mothers-to-be have never had diabetes before, and then it goes away after pregnancy. But, unfortunately, that’s not always the end of the story.

Once you’ve had GDM your chances are 2 in 3 that it will return in future pregnancies. And women who have had GDM are more than 7 times as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as women who didn’t have diabetes in pregnancy. How can you lower your risk?

  • Stay active. Regular exercise can help prevent type 2 diabetes. Plus it can help you lose weight, manage stress, and feel better.
  • Breastfeed. If you can, breastfeed your baby. Breastfeeding can provide both short- and long-term benefits to both your baby and to you.
  • Talk to your health care provider. Be sure to tell your health care providers that you’ve had GDM.
  • Get tested. If you had GDM, you should be tested for diabetes 6–12 weeks after you give birth and at least every 3 years after that.
  • Lose weight. Are you more than 20 percent over your ideal body weight? Losing even a few pounds can help you prevent type 2 diabetes.
  • Limit fat to 30 percent or less of your daily calories, and watch your portion sizes. Healthy eating habits can go a long way in preventing diabetes and other health problems.

Source: American Diabetes Association’s CheckUp America campaign

Are you a Master Excuse-Maker?

While you may try to exercise often, do you find yourself making excuses when the demands of daily life take hold? By skipping a quick walk or work-out routine, many find the pounds add up. Here are few ways to build exercise into your regular routine and lower your type 2 diabetes risk:

  • When working at your desk for an extended period of time, build short breaks into your day.
  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator. If need be, take the elevator part of the way and the stairs the rest of the way, then gradually increase the number of floors you climb as you become more fit.
  • If safe to do so, park your car at a distant part of the office parking lot so that you can increase the amount of walking you do on your way in. If you use public transportation, get off a stop or two early and walk to your destination.

Source: Copyright © American Diabetes Association. From the “I Hate to Exercise” book

Have you let up on your check-up?

With today’s hectic schedules and daily demands, it’s easy to forget or forgo a scheduled visit with your health care provider. Plus, if you feel a little heavier, more stressed or have been eating less healthy, chances are you’ll want to avoid this check-up more than in years past. But, seeing a healthcare provider on a regular basis is one of the best ways to manage your health, ask for tools to lower your risk, and stop diabetes before it starts.

Be sure to take our Diabetes Risk Test before visiting your health care provider. And, take along these questions and healthy guidelines to make the most of your visit.

  • What is the circumference of my waist? (A healthy number is 40 inches or below for men, under 35 inches for women)
  • What is my blood pressure?( Less than 120/80 is ideal)
  • Will you give me a fasting blood glucose test? (Maintain a schedule of being tested every 3 years after age 45 and ask your doctor to explain the test results and provide tips on how to lower your numbers if need be)
  • What is my cholesterol? (Total cholesterol should be less than 200, with LDL levels less than 100 and HDL levels more than 40 mgs for men, 50 mgs for women)
  • What are some small steps I can take to be healthier and avoid type 2 diabetes?

Source: American Diabetes Association’s CheckUp America campaign

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