Friday, November 28, 2014

Could You Have Diabetes and Not Know It?

Did you know 1 out of 4 people in America over the age of 65 have diabetes?  It is even more startling to find out that it is estimated that 1 out of 3 people over the age of 20 in the US have prediabetes, which if not treated, will most likely lead to diabetes. That is 33% of the adult population!

If you are an adult and do not know if you have been tested for diabetes, a phone call to your doctor’s office will help put your mind at ease, or will hopefully prompt you to be tested.  A simple blood test will show if you fall into the prediabetes or diabetes category.


  •      High blood sugar levels cause damage to every part of the human body over time. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure and new cases of blindness among adults.  It is a major cause of heart disease and stroke.
  •     We cannot feel high blood sugar levels for the most part, until high blood sugar levels start to cause damage to the body, and we feel the effects. Because of this damaging aspect, higher-than-normal blood sugar levels start to steal away the vitality of men and women earlier in life than it should.  High blood sugar over a period of time can cause you to feel fatigued, to have frequent infections, to heal cuts and bruises more slowly, to have increased thirst and urination or to have blurred vision. Yet you may have attributed these symptoms to just having a stressful job or to getting older.

Although you cannot feel high blood sugar levels, you can know if you are at higher risk for the development of diabetes. If you answer any of the following questions YES, then you are at increased risk for developing diabetes.
1.      Are you over 45 and overweight?
2.      Are you under 45 and overweight with high blood pressure or a family history of diabetes?
3.      Do you get little or no exercise?
4.     If you are a woman have you had a baby who weighed more than 9 lbs at birth?

You can live a healthy life if you develop diabetes.  Ask your doctor about attending diabetes education classes to find out how. If you have prediabetes you can reverse the risk or delay its development, by increasing your physical activity and cutting back on your portions at meals and snacks to help lose excess weight.  A Registered Dietitian can help give you the right facts, accountability and encouragement for success in this.  Don’t delay if you are at higher risk, ask about being tested for diabetes, or find a local diabetes screening event.

A Gift That Keeps On Giving

Give yourself a different gift this year: start a healthy habit!  After all, it is not one meal on the holiday that makes a difference, it is your habits on all the other days of the month that help or hurt your health. 

The definition of a habit is: 

The tendency to do an action which has become easy through repetition. 

Easy is much better than hard and it only takes 20 days to make a healthy habit, so if you get started today, it will become easy by the New Year!

Which healthy habit will you choose to practice until it becomes an easy part of your life?  Any of the following healthy habits will make a huge difference in helping you feel better! Pick one and start today:

1.      EAT BREAKFAST.  Most people who have healthy habits eat breakfast.  It speeds up your metabolism, gives you energy and helps you think more clearly.
2.      CHOOSE A FRUIT, A VEGETABLE AND/OR A SALAD WITH EACH MEAL.  These three foods make us feel full and add lots of nutrition and fiber to make us feel great from the inside out!
 3.      CHOOSE LESS OF THE MAIN DISH.  The biggest reason most of us are too heavy is our portion sizes. If you add a fruit, vegetable or salad to each meal, your portion of meat or casserole can be less and you will feel satisfied.
4.      SWITCH HEALTHIER FOODS FOR LESS HEALTHY.  Drink water instead of pop. Order salad instead of fries, and oatmeal instead of donuts. Add an apple for a snack instead of chips.  Practicing these simple changes will build your confidence that you can make a difference for your health.

To help you put these habits into practice, try one of the following healthy dips. Serve with fresh vegetables or fruit. 
Greek Yogurt Dip: Mix 1 1/2 cups non-fat plain greek yogurt with 1/4  tsp. each of chives, dill weed, garlic powder, onion powder and salt. Add more if you like more flavor.
Cottage Cheese Dip: Process 2 cups low-fat cottage cheese and 1 pkg ranch dressing mix in a food processor until smooth.
Use Vanilla Greek Yogurt as a dip for fresh fruit