Diabetes Risk

Apr. 12, 2017 at 1:55pm

Diabetes: A Cardiac Risk

About 24 million Americans, nearly 8% of the population, have diabetes, a condition that disrupts the way the body uses glucose. For the body to absorb glucose, the hormone insulin, which is produced in the pancreas, is necessary. But in people with diabetes the pancreas does not produce insulin (or produces too little of it) or the body does not properly use the insulin that is produced. As a consequence, glucose builds up in the blood and eventually begins to appear in the urine. Over time, high glucose levels can cause devastating results such as stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, and amputation. Diabetes is the fourth leading cause of death (often prematurely) in the U.S. And heart disease is the leading cause of diabetes-related death. Studies suggest that diabetes raises the risk of heart disease in men by 69% and in women by a whopping 174%.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for up to 95% of all cases of diabetes. It usually strikes people in their forties or older, although it is increasingly showing up in overweight, sedentary teenagers and even young children. The main factor in the development of type 2 diabetes is excess weight.

Common symptoms of type 2 diabetes include frequent urination, increased hunger and thirst, weight loss, headaches, blurred vision, weakness and fatigue, infections (especially yeast), slow healing of cuts and bruises, irritability and tingling or numbness in hands or feet.

About 65% of diabetics die of heart attack or stroke, largely attributed to high blood pressure and an abnormal lipid profile. But researchers now have shown that regular exercise (150 minutes per week) and weight loss (6%) can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes by 58%. Once again, lifestyle remedies are critical.

Posted in Health Info by Joe

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