Tuesday, September 21, 2010

DIABETES PREVENTION TIP OF THE WEEK: Know all the risk factors you CAN control

When it comes to managing your health, there are certain factors – i.e. family history, age, race – that you simply can’t control. If your mom is a type 2 diabetic, and you’ve struggled with weight since you were a child, you face some built-in challenges that many others do not.

There are, however, many risk factors you CAN control and if taken seriously can dramatically reduce your chances of becoming a type 2 diabetic. The factor most commonly associated with the disease is obesity, and it’s critical to take proper measures to eat healthy so that you don’t become overweight, as defined as a body mass index over 25 (body mass index is your weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared). Diabetes is also strongly correlated with a sedentary life-style, so staying active through regular exercise and elevating your heart-rate daily is key. Proper diet should be complemented by abstaining from smoking or heavy drinking. 

Monitoring your cholesterol is vital as well. Abnormal cholesterol and blood fat levels, such as your HDL cholesterol (or "good" cholesterol) being lower than 35 mg/dL or your triglyceride level being over 250 mg/dL, signals major warning signs. High blood pressure, meaning greater than 140/90 in adults, signals a red flag that you need to make changes.

If you’re healthy by these standards, it’s important not to take it for granted and develop a strategy to keep it that way. And if you’re at risk for diabetes, heart disease or stroke, it’s imperative to see your doctor and create an action plan to get you on track. So that you know the right questions to ask your doctor, take this online self-assessment from WebMD and get your results today…

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