By 2025 one in every five Adult Americans will have Diabetes
According to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC), there were about 30.3 million Americans with diabetes (9.4% of the US population) in 2017. This is one in every 10 adult Americans. About 7.2 million people have diabetes that has not been diagnosed. They do not know they have diabetes. There were also 84.1 million adults over age 18 with prediabetes (one out of every three adults). Of those with prediabetes 23.1 million were seniors over the age of 65. In 2015 diabetes was the 7th leading cause of death. If things continue as projected, by 2025 one out of every five adult Americans will have diabetes. It is therefore crucial to find a way of preventing prediabetes from developing into type 2 diabetes.
Most Seniors with Prediabetes will Eventually get Type 2 Diabetes
People with prediabetes have blood sugar levels which are slightly higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Most seniors with prediabetes will eventually get type 2 diabetes unless they make serious lifestyle changes. If they do get diabetes they will be at a high risk for strokes, heart attacks, blindness due to destruction of the retina of the eyes, amputation of legs, feet and toes, nerve damage and kidney failure.
The National Diabetes Prevention Program
In order to try to halt the diabetes epidemic, the CDC has initiated a campaign called the National Diabetes Prevention Program. The CDC hopes to reach as many people with prediabetes as possible in order to persuade them to make lifestyle changes that may prevent the progression from prediabetes to diabetes. In fact, the CDC has a simple online prediabetes test. Those whose test results show they may have prediabetes should confer with their doctors and be tested for blood sugar levels. All seniors age 65 and over should have their blood sugar levels tested to see if they are normal, have prediabetes or have undiagnosed diabetes.
The CDC Lifestyle Change Program
The CDC also offers a lifestyle change program which is for a full year. It is led by a specially trained coach who will lead the participants to healthier eating habits, getting more physical exercise and learning how to deal with stress. It is also possible to join an online program.
Research has shown that people with prediabetes who participate in a structured lifestyle change program and lose 5% to 7% of their body weight through healthier eating and get 150 minutes of physical activity per week can cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% (71% for people over 60 years old).
In addition, lifestyle change programs can lower the risk for heart attack and stroke associated with prediabetes and improve the overall health of the participants.
Lifestyle Changes to Prevent type 2 Diabetes
Follow a Healthy Diet
Follow a healthy diet like the Mediterranean diet that consists of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, low meat consumption, high fish consumption and low consumption of dairy products. The main oil and sole fat is extra virgin olive oil. According to the American Diabetes Association, several studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet lowers blood glucose levels better than a low fat diet. It lowers the risk for contracting diabetes by 83%.
Cut Down on Sugar
It is a fact that cutting back or cutting out sugar can help to prevent going from prediabetes to diabetes.
Stop Consuming Trans Fats
Trans fats like partially hydrogenated margarine have been linked to all kinds of health problems including a higher risk for diabetes, heart disease and strokes. Best to use vegetables oils, especially olive oil.
Eat Lighter Meals
Eat lighter meals more often rather than very heavy meals.
Eat Whole Grains
Eat whole grain breads and cereals rather than white bread.
Eat Whole Brown, Red or Black Rice
Eat whole brown, red or black rice instead of white rice.
Cut Down or Avoid Alcohol
Avoid alcoholic beverages. Substitute grape juice for wine.
Eat More Fish and Less Meat
Eat less meat and more fish like salmon.
With a doctor’s referral, Medicare B covers the cost of going to a professional dietician who can guide seniors with prediabetes to the proper eating habits.
Diabetes Monitoring and Care at Park Crescent Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in East Orange, New Jersey
The Park Crescent Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in East Orange, New Jersey offers expert diabetes monitoring and care at the hands of a warm and caring staff. Park Crescent is also the prime center in the area for treating complex wounds including diabetic foot ulcers.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that can lead to early death, blindness and amputation of limbs. The good news is that with early detection for prediabetes and by doing some lifestyle changes this terrible disease can be halted in its tracks. It is crucial for every senior to get a simple blood test for diagnosing diabetes or prediabetes.