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Diabetes and common sense strategies to control it

There are an estimated 382 million individuals worldwide who have diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation. What’s more concerning is the trend is expected to continue to climb with more than 592 million people expected to have the condition by 2035.



Experts warn the long-term costs for countries and individuals could be staggering both economically, physically and socially. This is a health crisis which does not discriminate and affects people of all social classes, races, and economic levels.

So if we know diabetes is a problem and we have a good idea how to control it, why are so many people still affected with the condition? People are busy, and it’s no wonder that their lives may get in the way of glucose testing, doctor’s visits, healthy eating and physical exercise.

So while many feel like they are too busy with their jobs and family to manage their diabetes, experts warn taking healthy steps to combat the condition is critical. For instance, diabetes is the fifth-leading cause of death by disease in the United States. Those who fail to manage diabetes may increase their risk of stroke, blindness, kidney disease, amputations and high blood pressure.

How do I manage my diabetes?


 

So for information about controlling your diabetic condition, we’ve included information from a recent CNN article. Karmeen Kulkarni, R.D., CDE, from the American Diabetes Association (ADA), has outlined several common sense strategies to deal with this condition. She notes, however, that all patients are different. There is no “one size fits all” strategy, and all patients should visit a doctor for specific information for their case.

1. Get educated about your condition.


 

The first step suggested by experts is getting expert advice about your condition. Many diabetics are not sure exactly what they should eat and when. A primary care doctor may be the first medical professional you should see, but they may need to direct you to other resources such as a registered dietitian, an eye doctor or an endocrinologist. It’s time to have your condition and its effects explained in simple language with simple steps to follow to control it.

2. Can I exercise if I am diabetic?


 

There are a variety of reasons that individuals choose not to exercise: they have busy schedules, they are out of shape or they lack energy. Experts suggest exercise should be put on the schedule and should include activities that you enjoy. Find a partner and make a plan. Exercise is critical for diabetics because it improves the body's ability to use insulin and can lower blood sugar. It also has other health benefits such as weight management, lowering the risk for heart disease and for stroke.

3. Should I lose weight?


 

Losing weight and staying trim is 80% diet. The good news is that a diabetic doesn’t have to eat a complicated diet to control their condition; they need to simply eat good, natural foods. This includes limiting portion sizes, eating less sugar and consuming fruits and vegetables.
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