This month we are focusing on diabetes – the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. The American Diabetes Association reports 30.3 million Americans have diabetes with 7.2 million of those undiagnosed. Even more staggering, 84.1 million American adults are pre-diabetic and about 1.5 million individuals are diagnosed with diabetes annually. Last year alone, diabetes cost $327 billion in direct medical expenses and reduced productivity.
The good news is Type 2 diabetes is preventable. Addressing risk factors is an important step toward avoiding developing the disease and its serious complications such as nerve, kidney, and heart damage. Here are some tips on lifestyle choices that can help prevent Type 2 diabetes.
- Be Active. Exercise helps you lose weight, lower your blood sugar, and boost insulin sensitivity by keeping your blood sugar in a normal range.
- Get More Fiber. Fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and nuts help improve blood sugar control, reduce your risk of heart disease, and assist in weight loss.
- Say No to Fad Diets. Rather than focusing on losing weight quickly, make healthy changes to your eating habits that will last in the long run.
- Know Your Numbers. Talk with your doctor to find out how often you should be checking your blood glucose.
Common warning signs of diabetes include increased thirst or hunger, dry mouth, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, and headaches. Take your health into your hands, and do not ignore these early warning signs.
If you have questions about your risk factors or are interested in being tested for diabetes, talk with your primary care physician about designing a care plan that fits your needs. Worksite screening may also be available for employers through their health plan’s wellness programs.
John E. Aoki, M.D., CHCQM, FABQAURP
Chief Medical Officer
Brought to you by HMAA, where we’re passionate about your health. To find out more about HMAA’s health plans, visit hmaa.com or contact our Customer Service Center. For information about our menu of wellness services, please contact Naomi Azama at (808) 791-7607 or firstname.lastname@example.org.