The National Institute of Healthy (NIH) has released a new survey on diabetes rates. The results are not too surprising for those who follow health news. According to the NIH, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 13 % of adults in the U.S. have diabetes, and 40% of them don’t realize it. They are walking around undiagnosed.
Experts have been claiming disease rates are reaching epidemic proportions. There are many folks not yet diagnosed with diabetes but they are suffering from pre-diabetic symptoms and these raise their risk of developing a pre-diabetic heart attack or stroke.
Such sobering news for Americans. But we are not the only Westernized country battling this disease at epic proportions. According to the Telegraph, Britain’s epidemic is threatening to cause the first decrease in national life expectancy in over 200 years. In fact, this condition has seen a drastic rise over the past few decades in third world countries as well (Diabetes in Adults is Now a Third World Problem). India is one such place where modernization has resulted in a huge increase in diagnoses. So what can we do, if anything, to curb this global trend? It helps to understand the risk factors, and also the most common lifestyle habits that can cause diabetes.
According to the NIH, the most vulnerable groups are African Americans and Hispanic Americans, Asians, and Pacific Islanders. Gender really play a no role in risk factors but the NIH study found that pre-diabetes was more common among men.
Most disturbing, the study found that although diabetes was rare among 12-19 yr. olds, 16% of their study participants were already pre-diabetic.
To find out if you suffer from diabetes you need to complete a blood glucose test with your doctor. Folks at greatest risk are over 45 yrs old, have a history of diabetes in the family, are overweight, are inactive, have high blood pressure and have a history of blood vessel problems in the heart, brain, or kidneys.
Another good way to start is to use a simple web-based diabetes screening test, that was developed by Finish scientists and was proved by several research studies: Type 2 diabetes risk assessment form.
And even if you test negative, certain lifestyle changes can help prevent diabetes from occurring in the future.
- Eat a balanced diet of natural, organic, whole foods low in saturated fats and sugars.
- Whenever possible walk rather than drive.
- Take the stairs rather than the elevator.
- If you don’t exercise, try to at least raise your heart rate for a few minutes every day through regular activities.
- Keep your weight in check.
- Quit smoking.
- Get off of corn sugars (fructose) and limit your intake of sweets in general.
For a peek at the NIH’s complete report, visit: NIH: New Survey Results Show Huge Burden of Diabetes (Study Includes Sensitive Test of Blood Glucose Abnormalities).