The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that 25.8 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, or about 8.3 percent of the population. About 7 million of them are diagnosed, and 79 million more people have the prediabetes form of the disease. About 1 in 10 American adults has diabetes. If trends continue, that figure is expected to double or triple by 2050. In 2012, 13.4 million women (11.2 percent) had diabetes, according to the National Diabetes Report. About 15.5 million men (13.6 percent) had it.
Diabetes is now a disease that affects 371 million people worldwide, and 187 million of them do not even know they have the disease, according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF)
Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Among adults 20-74 years old, diabetes is the top cause of blindness. Diabetes is also a leading cause of kidney failure. Nervous system damage affects about 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes, and can lead to a variety of nerve problems.
Most diabetic people have impaired sensation in their hands and feet or carpal tunnel syndrome. Diabetes can also cause digestive problems and erectile dysfunction and increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Diabetes causes more than 60 percent of nontraumatic lower limb amputations.
If your blood sugar number is alarmingly going up, watch out and start these science-backed diet, exercise, and wellness to help you return it to a healthier level.
1. Enjoy Mediterranean diet
According to studies involving 140,000 people, the odds of developing diabetes are 21 percent lower for those who follow a Mediterranean diet—building meals around plant-based foods, including fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, whole grains, and olive oil. Regularly eat fish and chicken but not red meat, butter, or sweets. Phytonutrients and fiber in the plant foods help with blood sugar control, and the olive oil might reduce inflammation.
2. Go, go with Berries
Eating more fruit with anthocyanins—the nutrients that give grapes and berries their bright red and blue colors which are linked to better blood sugar control. One portion a day of grapes or berries can have the same impact on blood sugar as a one-point reduction in your body mass index.
3. Do not skip breakfast
If you frequently miss breakfast and take donuts or other sweets to wake you up for the day’s workload, you'll be more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Eating a healthy morning meal may help stabilize blood sugar throughout the day. Prepare a healthy blend of protein, complex carbs, and fat- for example: yogurt mixed with fruit and nuts, starting the day with lots of simple carbs (such as a bagel and OJ) is just as bad for your blood sugar as skipping the meal.
4. Lots of exercise = Strength + Stamina
Women who did both cardio (at least two and a half hours) and strength training (at least one hour) every week had the lowest diabetes risk—about one third less than that of non-exercisers. After an exercise session, your muscles take up more glucose from the bloodstream. As you become more fit over time, cells become more sensitive to insulin.
5. Walk any chance you can
Walk around for two minutes after every 20 you spend sitting down. A new study indicates that regular walking breaks lessen spikes in your blood sugar levels after you eat.
6. Get a regular risk test
Complete a risk test at diabetes.org and take the results to your next doctor's appointment. A higher score may spur earlier or more frequent blood sugar checks.
7. Scrutinize your medicine cabinet
Drugs for common conditions—such as steroids to control asthma, statins to improve cholesterol levels, and diuretics to lower blood pressure—may raise blood sugar. Consult and ask your doctor for specific medications that may help treat your condition without harmful side effects.
No one can argue that staying healthy is difficult. There are too many temptations, distractions and to some -too busy or too little time to keep tract of keeping healthy. No matter what reasons anyone has, a healthy body can do more good than an unhealthy frail, weak body. It is never too late nor too soon to take care of your body.