This is part of a series by Pharmacist George, a Connect site advocate. George will be suggesting small actions toward a healthy lifestyle and sharing experts from his book.
Can anyone really “defeat” chronic diseases such as diabetes, pre-diabetes, high cholesterol and blood pressure?
Of course you can! But first let me define what “defeat” means. You can expect a natural lifespan and defeat almost any chronic condition in any one of the following three ways: prevention, management or even reversing chronic diseases and conditions.
The first article of this series will deal with prevention.
Stop Them Before They Start
You can prevent the occurrence of those disease conditions that are often caused mostly by lifestyle related factors, such as Type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. These are happening to adults and younger generations alike; our own unfavorable lifestyle choices are largely to blame.
Those preventable conditions are caused or made worse mostly by one or more of these modifiable factors like overeating, physical inactivity, excess weight and body fat especially around the belly area, smoking, stress and excess alcohol intake.
If you have a non-lifestyle related condition such as Type 1 diabetes then when you make favorable lifestyle choices you can prevent complications such as neuropathy and heart disease.
Last week, Food Network’s new program Titled “Fat Chef” featured a female chef in her 30’s who weighed 295 pounds. She admitted that she would constantly snack on fatty and sugary treats all day long. In addition to being overweight she has high blood pressure and pre-diabetes. “I feel trapped in my own body and I don’t want to die before I see my girls grow up," she said. "I must do something about it."
After she was put on a meal plan and a rigorous exercise schedule, at the end of 15 weeks she had lost a total of 82 pounds. Her blood pressure and sugar have completely dropped to normal. She was elated as she learned her final progress results and vowed to stay the course.
The point is when you start making favorable lifestyle choices and address the root causes of your condition then you can expect to defeat deadly diseases.
Small Action of The Week:
Physical activity has incredible benefits on health. It is free and has no side effects. Increase the amount of walking you do every day by three minutes to almost every waking hour.
Remember: Small actions get you priceless health benefits.
What actions did you take today? Share a thought or ask me a question. I want you to hear from you.
“Lifestyle Makeover for Diabetics and Pre Diabetics”
Here’s an excerpt from “Lifestyle Makeover for Diabetics and Pre Diabetics:”
Lifestyle Makeover for Diabetics and Pre Diabetics
by George F. Tohme, Pharmacist
How Is Diabetes Affecting Our Society?
Diabetes is a mushrooming disease of epidemic proportions in the United States and worldwide. It is becoming one of the largest medical challenges of the 21st century. Pierre Lefebvre, President of the International Diabetes Federation, has been quoted saying: “As diabetes spreads across the globe, the world is heading for one of the biggest health catastrophes it has ever seen.”
Diabetes affects over 300 million people worldwide and more than 25.8 million in the United States. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes-related complications due to uncontrolled diabetes cause more than 250,000 deaths in the U.S. annually, a staggering 75% of which are the result of debilitating strokes and heart and artery disease complications. There are 79 million people in U.S. who are pre-diabetic (about to have diabetes). Up to a whopping 73% of adult diabetics have high blood pressure, and almost all have some form of cholesterol problem, which could lead to strokes, heart attacks, and premature deaths if not brought under control, and it can be.
Uncontrolled diabetes is the cause of over 45% of new cases of kidney failure and up to 70% of nerve damage called neuropathy causing loss of sensation, pain, and numbness in the hands and feet leading to amputations. Uncontrolled diabetes is the cause of over 60% of all leg and foot amputations, and also is the leading cause of blindness in people between the ages of 20 to 75. This translates to over 100,000 leg amputations, 44,000 people with kidney failure, and 24,000 people who go blind every single year caused by totally preventable complications of diabetes gone out of control.
These statistics are startling, they don’t lie, and they keep climbing. This correlates with an all time rise in obesity and inactivity (solutions to the weight epidemic are discussed in detail in Action Step 4). You have the power not to be part of these statistics. You can avoid these complications. You don’t have to suffer a major blow to your quality of life and constantly live under the threat of being attacked by those vicious diabetes complications, which will slash years from your lifespan.
We now have evidence that you can prevent these complications. Revealing landmark trials such as the UKPDS, DCCT, and many others prove this finding. Keep your diabetes under control (see Action Step 3 to find out what and how to keep the various crucial parameters under control) and live to tell stories to your grand- and great grandchildren instead of having your children say, “My father died from diabetes at age 52. He also was very heavy” or “My sister who is 48 lost both legs to diabetes and she is now in a wheelchair” or “My mom, now 56 years old, has been legally blind for several years and now her diabetes got so bad that she has to go to the hospital for dialysis 3 times a week and be strapped to a machine for several hours each time to have her system cleansed. She is on a lot of medications.”
You can bring diabetes under control. If you act on the simple tips provided to you in the 5 easy action steps of this guide, you can regain control of your weight, your health, and your life and at the same time live a natural lifespan free of complications. Anyone can do it.
More alarming are the 6 million people in the U.S. who may have undiagnosed diabetes and have been harboring it for more than 10 years. These undiagnosed individuals, with blood sugar levels of 700 points (mg/dL) or more, are walking hazards. These people must be identified and treated immediately. By getting a simple blood glucose test, you can determine if you are at risk for diabetes.
The number of diabetes incidents is on the rise. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the number of Americans affected with diabetes has increased by an alarming 61% since 1991. It is estimated that 1 in 3 people born in the U.S. will develop diabetes. African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders are 2 to 3 times more likely than Caucasians to develop diabetes. What is even more alarming is the all time sharp rise in the number of obese children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or likely to become diabetic.
Obesity and the diabetes epidemic, in kids and adults alike, is fueled by poor lifestyle choices such as inactivity due to extensive hours of TV watching, sitting behind a computer, or playing video games. Moreover, this dangerous epidemic is compounded when people couple inactivity with consuming large portions of typical Western diet foods such as pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, French fries, fried food, salty chips, crackers, packaged and processed snacks, cookies, chocolate, ice cream, alcohol, and, most importantly, sugar-loaded soft drinks. These foods are nutrient-deficient, very low in beneficial fiber, and very high in fats and sugars, which largely and directly contribute to weight gain and promotion of chronic disease.
The blame for children’s obesity and the diabetes epidemic within that age group goes to their parents and to school systems that allow kids to eat unbalanced portions of junk food and offer, on a daily basis, nutrient-deficient foods to these children and easy access to large amounts of soft drinks, which alone are responsible for over 30% of obesity in U.S. Parents and teachers also act as negative role models to kids if the parents and teachers are obese, if they smoke, or if they lead sedentary lifestyles.
Recent CDC data indicate that more than 58% of adults in the United States are overweight, and, of those, 21% are obese, 60% do not engage in regular physical activity, and more than 25% of all Americans do not engage in any physical activity. The enormous rise in obesity is a clear link to the alarming rise in type 2 diabetes. Since people with type 2 diabetes account for about 90% of all diabetics, and since type 2 diabetes is directly lifestyle-related, then a reverse trend will only be seen when people become more informed about diabetes and make favorable lifestyle changes.
There will never be a magic pill, a panacea, or a cure-all for obesity. The only way to control diabetes is to monitor the crucial parameters, take your medications daily as prescribed, and regain control of your weight by making favorable lifestyle choices and by managing stress. We will discuss each of these Action Steps in detail within this diabetes guide.
Your rewards will be avoiding premature death from complications due to diabetes and enjoying the best quality of life.
Copyright Tohme 2011
All rights reserved. Except where indicated, no part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher and/or the author.