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  • Writer's pictureLorna Fedelem, MD

Defense against Diabetes starts with you



Defeat Diabetes Month is observed in April each year. It is projected that around 643 million people worldwide will be living with diabetes by 2030. We need to raise awareness about the preventable nature of Type Two diabetes and focus on the lifestyle and dietary changes that can be implemented to minimize the chances of contracting the disease.


DIABETES FAQS

What are the three Ps of diabetes?

The three Ps of diabetes are polyuria, polydipsia, and polyphagia. “Poly” means many, therefore this refers to excess urination, excess thirst/drinking water, and excess hunger/eating. These can all be red flags of having undiagnosed diabetes.


Can anyone get Type Two diabetes?

Yes. Type Two diabetes is an autoimmune disorder with multiple risk factors, including obesity, genetics, and a sedentary lifestyle. Metabolic syndrome raises the risk even more.


Is fatigue a symptom of diabetes?

The most common symptoms of diabetes are frequent urination, increased thirst, and persistent fatigue.



WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

1. Visit your doctor for a blood test.

Diabetes is easy to detect, and with preventative medicine a simple blood test for a hemoglobin A1C can diagnose pre-diabetes and allow us to take measures to prevent the actual onset of diabetes with diet modifications, weight loss, and sometimes medication.


2. Skip the carbs—eat a Mediterranean Diet.

A balanced diet high in protein and vegetables is a proven way of minimizing your chances of diabetes. French fries and other carbohydrate-dense food groups blind our taste buds and load us up with unnecessary calories that can lead to obesity.


3. Get active and be outside.

Exercise has an immediate impact on our body by lowering our blood glucose and strengthening insulin sensitivity throughout our body. Taking a brisk walk after a meal triggers the uptake of glucose from our bloodstream and lowers an elevated blood sugar.


4 FACTS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT DIABETES

1. It’s avoidable.

Knowing your risk factors can drastically decrease your chance of getting Type Two diabetes. Make an appointment to discuss this with your PCP.


2. It’s on the rise.

Type Two diabetes patients in the U.S. have almost doubled in the last 20 years.


3. Associated diseases.

Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, amputation, kidney failure, and strokes.


4. It’s not just a “sugar thing.”

The main risk factors of diabetes are genetics and obesity, not only the daily consumption of too much sugar.


UNDERSTANDING DIABETES IS IMPORTANT

1. Live a healthy lifestyle.

In my practice I promote the prevention of diabetes by arming my patients with comprehensive knowledge about nutrition and exercise. Consuming fresh and unprocessed food and picking up a workout of your choice not only reduces your risk factors but is also key to living a healthy lifestyle.


2. New trends.

Hemoglobin A1C control and weight management are critical for diabetics and pre-diabetics. There are new drugs that can help achieve these goals. Talk to your doctor today but beware of clinics offering weekly injections of compounded semaglutide for weight loss. Endocrinologists and Obesity Medicine Specialists, like me, are very much against this practice due to safety and quality concerns.


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