Leave a comment

How to prevent Diabetes

Diabetes is on the rise, especially here in the United States. In 2014, the CDC released a report that 29.1 million Americans (9.3% of the population at the time) had diabetes. And about 8.1 million of them were undiagnosed. Now that’s an alarming number!

infographic-diabetes

Source: CDC.gov

In this article, we want to take you through the two types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Then we’ll let you know the factors that can lead to getting diabetes and finally talk about prediabetes and how to know if you’re at risk.

The Types of Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes
If you have type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. Your immune system attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that make insulin. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, although it can appear at any age. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day to stay alive. (NIDDK.NIH.Gov)

Type 2 Diabetes
If you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not make or use insulin well. You can develop type 2 diabetes at any age, even during childhood. However, this type of diabetes occurs most often in middle-aged and older people. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes. (NIDDK.NIH.Gov)

Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes develops in some women when they are pregnant. Most of the time, this type of diabetes goes away after the baby is born. However, if you’ve had gestational diabetes, you have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Sometimes diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy is actually type 2 diabetes. (NIDDK.NIH.Gov)

Risk Factors of Diabetes

For Type 1 Diabetes, the common risk factors are:

  • Family history
  • Infection or illness
  • Disease of the pancreas

This is the type of diabetes that is not generally something you can control, as opposed to the risk factors of Type 2 Diabetes.

To put it simply, there are 4 major risk factors for Type 2 diabetes. These include:

  • Lack of exercise
  • Unhealthy eating
  • Overweight
  • Family History

Other major factors include:

  • Ethnic background
  • Age
  • Insulin resistance
  • Impaired glucose tolerance

    inforgraphics-prediabetes

    Source: CDC.gov

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

What is Prediabetes?

Prediabetes is a condition when someone has a higher blood sugar level than normal, but
not high enough to diagnose them with diabetes. This person is considered prediabetic because of this high level.

If this person also has several other risk factors like they’re over the age of 45, are overweight, have a family history of the disease, etc. they really need to consult with a doctor about what they can do to prevent diabetes.

According to the CDC, if you have prediabetes, doing two things can help prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes. These include:

  • Lose 5-7% of your body weight
  • Get at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week

 


Leave a comment

What’s Osteoporosis and how do you manage it?

We hear about osteoporosis, sometimes on TV, in magazine ads, or online, but what is it exactly and what is causing it?

It’s a condition that plagues 54 million Americans, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. It’s a disease that occurs due to too little bone creation or too much bone loss. It’s especially harmful to older people with the disease, as a slight bump or fall can result in the breaking of bones.

The term Osteoporosis means “porous bone”, and when viewed under a microscope it does not appear solid, but rather spacious like a honeycomb.

understanding-osteoporosis-infographic

From NJhealth.org

What Causes Osteoporosis?

There are many factors that can affect bone loss from cancer to blood disorders to autoimmune disorders. Medicines like antiseizure medicine Dilantin, chemotherapy drugs, Lithium, and prednisone have been known to cause bone loss.

Things like genes, age, and sex can also be factors for a risk of osteoporosis.

Autoimmune Disorders

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
  • Lupus
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis

Digestive and Gastrointestinal Disorders

  • Celiac disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Weight loss surgery

Medical Procedures

  • Gastrectomy
  • Gastrointestinal bypass procedures

Cancer

  • Breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer

Hematologic/Blood Disorders

  • Leukemia and lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Sickle cell disease

Neurological/Nervous System Disorders

  • Stroke
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Spinal cord injuries

Blood and bone marrow disorders

  • Thalassemia

Mental Illness

  • Depression
  • Eating disorders

Endocrine/Hormonal Disorders

  • Diabetes
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Thyrotoxicosis
  • Irregular periods
  • Premature menopause
  • Low levels of testosterone and estrogen in men

Other Diseases and Conditions

  • AIDS/HIV
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema
  • Female athlete triad (includes loss of menstrual periods, an eating disorder and excessive exercise)
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Liver disease, including biliary cirrhosis
  • Organ transplants
  • Polio and post-polio syndrome
  • Poor diet, including malnutrition
  • Scoliosis
  • Weight loss

List provided by the National Osteoporosis Foundation

How Can You Prevent It?

There are several activities you can take part in to help prevent your risk for Osteoporosis. These include changing your nutrition, and exercising.

Foods that are good for your bones:

  • Dairy products (low fat, non-fat milk, yogurt, cheese)
  • Fish (salmon, sardines, tuna)
  • Fruits (Plantains, strawberries, oranges, pineapples, papaya)
  • Vegetables (Broccoli, kale, okra, turnip greens, sweet potatoes, spinach, red peppers, etc)
  • Foods fortified with Vitamin D and Calcium

Foods to eat less of:

  • Beans (Can interfere with body’s ability to absorb calcium contained in beans, might help to soak beans in water for several hours)
  • Meat/High protein foods (Eat enough, but not too much)
  • Salty foods (Causes body to lose calcium)
  • Alcohol (Limit to 2-3 drinks per day)
  • Caffeine (Drink in moderation)
  • Soft Drinks (Colas)

As for exercises, The National Osteoporosis Foundation has a great list of specific exercises you can do that may help strengthen your bones. Check out the list here.