Know Your Type 2 Diabetes Risk and Get Healthier This Father s Day

 
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"By Griffin P. Rodgers, MD

Know Your Type 2 Diabetes Risk and Get Healthier This Father   s Day

In the early 1900s, it was believed that starving a person with diabetes (and giving them whiskey and black coffee as a source of calories and comfort) could keep people with type 2 diabetes alive. We’ve come a long way in our understanding and treatment of diabetes, and we’ve also come a long way in understanding how to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes in people at risk. So this Father’s Day, let me tell you how serious type 2 diabetes is, and what you can do to lower your chances for developing the condition.

Type 2 diabetes is a challenging disease for anyone, but it can lead to significant health issues for men. If left undiagnosed or untreated, men with diabetes can face health problems such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and even the loss of a toe or foot. Diabetes can also lead to sexual problems like erectile dysfunction. And if you suffer from erectile dysfunction, this could also be an early sign of the disease.

Diabetes tends to run in families, which means if you have a mother, father, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes, you have a greater chance of getting the disease. If you’re overweight or obese, physically inactive, and over age 45, you may have a greater chance of getting the disease. Diabetes is also more common in African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders.

It’s estimated that one in every four people with diabetes doesn’t even know they have the disease. And another 86 million Americans are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Taking just a few steps this Father’s Day will help you take charge of your health:

Step 1: Take NDEP’s Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test
This tool asks simple questions about weight, age, family history, and other potential risk factors for type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.

Step 2: Talk to Your Physician About Your Risk Factors
If you think you’re at high risk for type 2 diabetes, talk to your doctor at your next visit about your family history.

You can also make healthy changes on your own. Start slow by setting a goal for yourself. Then make a plan by choosing the small steps you will take. Ask your friends and family for help with your plan. For example, start working toward getting 30 minutes of physical activity, such as brisk walking, most days of the week. If you haven’t been very active in the past, start slowly, and try adding a few minutes each day. Go for a bike ride or swim, or take a brisk walk with family and friends. Plan a healthy meal of lean meats and leafy vegetables.

The good news is that people at risk can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes if they become more active and lose a small amount of weight. Dropping just 5 to 7 percent of their body weight — about 10 to 14 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds — can make such a difference.

If you’re worried about your type 2 diabetes risk, talk to your doctor. You can work together to make a plan to make the healthy lifestyle changes you need to help prevent type 2 diabetes. Give yourself the best gift this Father’s Day by finding out if you’re at risk for this very serious disease.

Visit the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases’ National Diabetes Education Program for information and resources to help you learn more about what you can do to stay healthy.

Griffin P. Rodgers, MD, is the director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)".

Fuente: www.everydayhealth.com
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