Healthy Life, July 2017

Louisiana Show INCRESE in Diabetes

 

Louisiana Shows

INCREASE in

DIABETES

But lifestyle changes can help you manage the disease

The incidence of diabetes has increased nationwide, but it has become especially worrisome in Louisiana. Two major risk factors for diabetes are obesity and sedentary lifestyle, which explains why Louisianans are so vulnerable.

Our food is famous, but far from healthy, and although we are called the “Sportsman’s Paradise,” our top “sports” — hunting and fishing — don’t burn many calories. Diabetes is a condition in which the body does not produce enough insulin, which is necessary to store and process sugar or “glucose.” When the amount of glucose builds up in the body, it can damage the organs and nerves, and interfere with blood circulation, leading to heart disease, stroke, blindness and other complications.

You should make an appointment with your primary care physician if you notice the following symptoms. Not all of these symptoms indicate diabetes, but it’s best to be tested by a medical specialist.

Frequent urination

Feeling thirsty all the time

Extreme fatigue

Blurry vision

Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal

Tingling/numbness in hands or feet

Early detection is important because your physician can help you make lifestyle changes that will immediately reduce your risk of complications. Simple changes such as eating healthy, losing weight, quitting smoking, getting regular exercise, and checking your blood sugar often can help you manage the disease.

Recent reports from the American Diabetes Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show these statistics:

Nearly 30 million Americans have diabetes, and a third are unaware they have it.

In Louisiana alone, 32,000 people are diagnosed with diabetes each year.

 Nearly 13% of adults in Louisiana have been diagnosed with diabetes, and another 36% have prediabetes .

In 2015, the National Institutes of Health invested nearly $10 million in diabetes-related research in Louisiana.

In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spent nearly half a million dollars on prevention and educational programs in Louisiana.

Hispanic, African American and American Indian adults are twice as likely to develop diabetes as non-Hispanic whites.

There is no cure for diabetes, but it can be managed. For the health of yourself and your family, a good place to start is by adopting a healthier diet. It’s easier than you think. Here’s a healthy, but delicious recipe that will make the whole family happy. And for more information on diabetes, visit diabetes.org.

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Healthy Life, September 2015

Living Your Best Life with Diabetes

by Stephanie Ryan Malin with Kate Blumberg, LDN, RD, CDE

_S5A0419-1Recovery often requires change. At times, recovery means accepting a new normal and making a commitment to living your best life with some adjustments.

A diabetes diagnosis for yourself or a loved one is certainly one of those times, but for people with diabetes—that is 1 in 10 of us—a commitment to better nutrition and more physical activity can enable a longer, healthier life.

“A diabetes diagnosis can certainly feel shocking at first, but with a little help, you can fine-tune your routine to ensure that your food has plenty of flavor and that your blood sugar is properly managed,” said Kate Blumberg, a registered dietitian at LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center, whose mission is to develop methods for better treating and preventing chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes.

Kate says sticking to five key tips can put you on the right track to managing your blood sugar without sacrificing your favorite foods and pastimes.

  • Exercise regularly: Physical activity engages the muscles in your body that burn glucose—the more you move, the more glucose you burn; in turn, that helps lower your blood sugar. Additionally, exercise helps keep your heart, lungs and weight in check while giving you the added boost of extra energy.

Adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each week – that means 30 minutes of exercise, five times a week, with enough movement to get your heart rate up to the point that you can still talk but not sing a song. Dancing, riding a bike, swimming, doing housework or gardening are all great places to start. If you are just getting started, try walking five or 10 minutes each day.

Pennington Biomedical is offering online training plans for its annual 5k and 1-mile fun run called Doc’s DASH. You can find a handy, easy-to-follow daily guide to either walking or running either race at www.pbrc.edu/DocsDASH.

  • Eat smart: A diet for people with diabetes is the kind of diet that most of us should be eating anyway: a diet that incorporates plenty of whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, plenty of fiber, whole grains and low or fat-free dairy products.

Making sure you have time for breakfast is crucial to avoiding crashes in blood sugar later in the day. Stay away from sugary or sweetened beverages, and make sure to keep small, healthy snacks, like a handful of nuts, around to help stave off spikes and drops in blood sugar that can happen between meals.

Working with a dietitian is a great way to better plan to manage your diabetes, and many of Pennington Biomedical’s studies include dietary counseling as part of the study. You can screen yourself to find out which studies you may qualify for at www.pbrc.edu/healthierLA.

Also, check out the DASH Diet, which was developed in part at Pennington Biomedical and has been named “The Best Diabetes Diet” by U.S. News & World Report, for five years running. The DASH diet focuses on many of the nutrition points mentioned earlier, along with lowering sodium intake to prevent or manage high blood pressure.

When your stress increases, it also increases your levels of stress hormones, which can lead to a spike in your blood sugar level and cause you to put on extra weight.

Manage your stress: When your stress increases, it also increases your levels of stress hormones, which can lead to a spike in your blood sugar level and cause you to put on extra weight.

Make it a priority to find ways to lower your stress naturally, such as exercising, taking a nap, working with a psychologist to identify stressors, joining a yoga or meditation class or carving out some time to talk and laugh with friends.

  • Monitor your blood sugar and take your medications: Research has shown that closely watching your blood sugar improves your ability to manage diabetes. You can work with your doctor to create the right testing schedule for your body. You may need to test once a day or multiple times of day, but staying on top of your blood sugar is the best way to manage your diabetes.

Taking your medications regularly ensures that your body is getting the right amount of medication to help you regulate your blood sugar. Try keeping your medication in a daily pill box placed somewhere you are sure not to miss it, like close to your toothbrush or in your kitchen. Setting an alarm can help you remember to take your medicine at a specific time as well.

  • Know your family’s risk: If someone in your family has diabetes, your risk of being diagnosed with the disease increases. In Louisiana, 1 in 3 people has pre-diabetes, and many do not know it. Pre-diabetes is a condition that, left untreated, can lead to diabetes.

Talk with your loved ones about screening for diabetes or pre-diabetes. They should ask their doctor to check their blood glucose and A1C levels. Your doctor can also advise you on diet, lifestyle, physical activity habits and body mass index when determining your risk.

With a few slight alterations, people with diabetes can enjoy full, active lifestyles and ensure that their days are not defined by their disease.

To learn more about research studies that could help you control your diabetes, visit www.pbrc.edu/healthierLA.

About Kate: Kate is a registered dietitian and project manager at Pennington Biomedical Research Center.  Kate specializes in nutrition therapy for diabetes, weight management, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), insulin resistant syndrome (IRS), and child nutrition. She received her degree in dietetics from Louisiana State University and completed her internship at North Oaks Medical Center. Kate is a certified diabetes educator and is certified in childhood and adolescent weight management.  She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Louisiana Dietetic Association, and American Association of Diabetes Educators.