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Diabetes and Age

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Diabetes and Age

September 06
16:40 2017

I was turning 50 when I was first told that I was pre-diabetic and that if I lost weight and watched my diet, I stood a fair chance of not developing actual type 2 diabetes. I knew of my family history of diabetes. My mom and her sister both were diabetic. Yet, like most people, I started out watching what I ate and trying to lose weight, but that only lasted for a few months and then I slowly reverted back to old habits. And guess what? Yep, now I’m a type 2 diabetic on medication to help control blood glucose levels and high blood pressure. Could I have avoided it? Chances are I at least could have staved it off for a number of years.

After being placed on medications for the diabetes and high blood pressure, I went on a diet and started walking for exercise. I lost weight and my blood sugar levels came down as did my blood pressure. Then I got sick and the only foods that set or sounded good were all the things I shouldn’t eat. I also quit exercising and ended up not renewing my meds when they ran out. For two and half years, I ate and did what I wanted until one day in the summer of 2016, I got terribly sick. I was so dizzy that I couldn’t stand up and I had uncontrolled violent vomiting for over four hours. When paramedics arrived, I recall them saying that both my blood sugar and blood pressure levels were dangerously high. I ended up spending several days in the hospital and have since been more faithful in taking my meds, watching my diet, exercising and losing weight. Both my blood glucose and blood pressure levels are back down to where they should be and if I were truly diligent and lost more weight, could get to the point where the doctor might back off some of the medications.

I only share my experience because chances are, many of you may find yourself in a similar situation. Consider this tidbit of information:

“In 2012, adults aged 45 to 64 were the most diagnosed age group for diabetes. New cases of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes in people aged 20 years and older were distributed as follows:”

  • ages 20 to 44: 371,000 new cases
  • ages 45 to 64: 892,000 new cases
  • age 65 and older: 400,000 new cases

“People aged 45 to 64 were also developing diabetes at a faster rate, edging out adults aged 65 and older.”

Some of the factors that can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes include:

  • Age – 45 years or older
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Ethnicity
  • Family history
  • Having a sedentary lifestyle
  • Having vascular disease
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having low HDL cholesterol
  • Having high triglyceride levels
  • History of pre-diabetes
  • Having delivered a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
  • Having polycystic ovarian syndrome

When it lists ethnicity above, the following ethnic groups appear to have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes:

  • Black American
  • Asian American
  • Hispanic
  • American Indian
  • Pacific Islander

If you fall into any one or more of the categories for higher risk, I am urging you to watch your weight activity and diet. Cut back on sugary foods and starchy foods. I know, that’s hard to do and you feel like you’re giving up all of your favorite foods and drinks. Do what I do and think of them as poison for your body. Soda and many fruit juices are high in sugar and are bad for you. Regular breads, rice, potatoes and pasta are all very bad for diabetics. They contain starches that not only put on the pounds, but your body converts those starches into sugars fairly quickly, causing your blood glucose level to spike and then plummet (the after meal drowsies). Get out and walk or do something to be more active. You also need resistance exercise to maintain healthy and strong bones, so a combination of resistances and aerobic exercises are recommended. If I’m not getting yard work done, I get on a treadmill twice a day, especially since I spend most of my time sitting at the computer writing.

Trust me, type 2 diabetes kills many people and if you want to enjoy your later years, take care of yourself now and from now on. Your family will appreciate it.

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