American Diabetes Month: Diabetes Q&A

Fitness Tips

American Diabetes Month: Diabetes Q&A

November is American Diabetes Month® - a time to raise awareness, champion prevention, and help people already diagnosed with the disease improve their health and quality of life. Here are some answers to common diabetes questions.

At Precor we believe that “tomorrow will be even better because of [our] actions today”, so we’ve partnered with the American Diabetes Association to bring you some advice for diabetes prevention and awareness throughout the month of November.

Q: Is diabetes really something to worry about?

A: Diabetes, including type 1 (less common) and type 2 diabetes (the most common type), causes more deaths per year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. One in 11 Americans lives with diabetes, so you probably know someone who is affected by it. Every 21 seconds, someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with diabetes. Having diabetes nearly doubles your risk for a heart attack and can harm all parts of your body.

The good news is that lifestyle changes, such as getting more exercise, and working with your health care team can help you manage the condition and reduce your risk of diabetes complications. That protects your brain, eyes, heart, kidneys, and limbs.

Q: My doctor said I have prediabetes. What’s that?

A: Prediabetes is diagnosed after a blood test shows you have elevated blood glucose levels that aren’t high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. In the U.S., 84 million people—that’s 1 in 3 adults—has prediabetes. Having prediabetes puts you at much higher risk of eventually developing type 2 diabetes. Health eating and regular exercise, plus weight loss if needed, helps people with prediabetes avoid developing diabetes, in many cases. To find out your diabetes risk, take this quick quiz.

Q: Type 2 diabetes happens only to overweight people, right?

A: Being overweight is only one of the risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes. Family history, ethnicity, and age also play a role. Most overweight or obese people never develop type 2 diabetes, and many people develop type 2 diabetes at a healthy weight or when mildly overweight.

Q: Do people with diabetes need to eat special foods?

A: A healthy meal plan for adults with diabetes is generally the same as a healthy meal plan for anyone else. The American Diabetes Association encourages people to focus on nonstarchy vegetables, whole grains, fruits, low-fat dairy, lean protein, and healthy fats. Specially labeled “diabetic” foods offer no special benefits.

Q: Do people have to take insulin because they are really sick?

A: People with type 1 diabetes need to inject or pump insulin several times every day to live. When first diagnosed, many people with type 2 diabetes can keep their blood glucose at a healthy level through choosing nutritious foods, losing weight if needed, and regular exercise. But over time, the body gradually produces less of its own insulin. Eventually, the body may need more help, such as pills or various injectable medications, to keep blood glucose levels in range.

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Katie Dobbs
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Katie is a self-proclaimed food connoisseur who loves playing in the great outdoors, traveling, and learning new things.

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