Educate Yourself About Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the most costly health problems in America. The American Diabetes Association estimates that health care and other costs directly related to diabetes treatment, as well as the costs of lost productivity, run $218 billion annually. Staying educated about Disaster and Heart Disease is a critical step in improving your health.

There are four types of diabetes.

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  1. Prediabetes
  2. Type 2 Diabetes
  3. Type 1 Diabetes
  4. Gestational Diabetes

For more information, go to the Florida Department of Health Website.

November is National Diabetes Month

What Are Signs & Symptoms of High Blood Sugar?

  • Feeling very thirsty and tired
  • Urinating more often
  • Losing a lot of weight
  • Blurred vision
  • Cuts or bruises that are slow to heal

Why should you control your blood sugar levels?

  • People with diabetes who keep their blood sugar levels normal or close to normal for life are predicted to gain, on average:
  • 5 extra years of life
  • 5 more years of eyesight
  • 6 years free from kidney disease
  • 6 years free from amputations and nerve damage

Control Diabetes For Life

In 2015, 30.3 million Americans, or 9.4% of the population, had diabetes. Of the 30.3 million adults with diabetes, 23.1 million were diagnosed, and 7.2 million were undiagnosed.

Diabetes remains the 7th leading cause of death in the United States in 2015, with 79,535 death certificates listing it as the underlying cause of death, and a total of 252,806 death certificates listing diabetes as an underlying or contributing cause of death.

Diabetes is a disease characterized by high levels of blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin production, insulin action, or both. Diabetes can be associated with serious complications and premature death, but people with diabetes can take steps to control the disease and lower the risk of complications.

Diabetes and Heart Disease

Keeping blood sugar levels normal or close to normal can make a big difference now and in the future for people with diabetes. Physical activity is a big part of heart health.

  • At least 68 percent of people age 65 or older with diabetes die from some form of heart disease and 16% die of stroke.
  • Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to die from heart disease than adults without diabetes.
  • The American Heart Association considers diabetes to be one of the seven major controllable risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Diabetes is treatable, but even when glucose levels are under control it greatly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. That's because people with diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes, may have the following conditions that contribute to their risk for developing cardiovascular disease.

High blood pressure (hypertension)
High blood pressure has long been recognized as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Studies report a positive association between hypertension and insulin resistance. When patients have both hypertension and diabetes, which is a common combination, their risk for cardiovascular disease doubles.

Abnormal cholesterol and high triglycerides
Patients with diabetes often have unhealthy cholesterol levels including high LDL ("bad") cholesterol, low HDL ("good") cholesterol, and high triglycerides. This triad of poor lipid counts often occurs in patients with premature coronary heart disease. It is also characteristic of a lipid disorder associated with insulin resistance called atherogenic dyslipidemia, or diabetic dyslipidemia in those patients with diabetes. Learn more about cholesterol abnormalities as they relate to diabetes.

Obesity
Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and has been strongly associated with insulin resistance. Weight loss can improve cardiovascular risk, decrease insulin concentration and increase insulin sensitivity. Obesity and insulin resistance also have been associated with other risk factors, including high blood pressure.

Lack of physical activity
Physical inactivity is another modifiable major risk factor for insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease. Exercising and losing weight can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes, reduce blood pressure and help reduce the risk for heart attack and stroke. It's likely that any type of moderate and/or vigorous-intensity, aerobic physical activity—whether sports, household work, gardening or work-related physical activity—is similarly beneficial.

For overall cardiovascular health, the American Heart Association recommends:
At least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week (or an equivalent combination of moderate-and vigorous-intensity activities), plus moderate-to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days per week for additional health benefits.

Poorly controlled blood sugars (too high) or out of normal range
Diabetes can cause blood sugar to rise to dangerous levels. Medications may be needed to manage blood sugar.

Smoking
Smoking puts individuals, whether or not they have diabetes, at higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Learn how to kick the habit.