The American Diabetes Association says that half of all Americans 65 or older risk developing type 2 diabetes. Unlike type 1 diabetes which usually develops in youth, type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented. Today, about a quarter of this age group has been diagnosed with the disease. Here are tips how to avoid diabetes in your senior years.
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1. The number one way to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes is to live a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and exercise.
2. Limit your TV viewing or sitting in the same place too long while awake. People who watch TV over four hours per day are increasing risk of developing various health problems.
3. Do not overload your body with excessive sugar intake. Your body already runs on glucose and doesn't need extra sugar, which is either stored in the liver as fat or released from the body, depending on how your metabolism works.
4. Visit your doctor when you notice symptoms of type 2 diabetes such as:
- excessive urination
- frequent thirst and hunger despite eating
- extreme fatigue
- blurred vision
- cuts and bruises that don't heal quickly
- tingling, pain or numbness in the hands and feet
5. Replace candy bars and other processed snacks with fruits and vegetables. Replace carbonated soft drinks with water, green tea, juice and other choices closer to nature than foods that contain synthetic chemicals and artificial sweeteners.
6. Avoid food that contains high fructose corn syrup and other forms of processed sugar, which are disguised under various names in the ingredients. A high percentage of packaged foods at conventional grocery stores contain high amounts of sugar.
7. Get your blood glucose tested by your doctor. Ask about diabetic-friendly food recipes that do not adversely affect your blood sugar levels.
8. Limit your alcohol intake since it can increase the risk of developing diabetes and other issues. The ADA recommends no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
9. Get plenty of exercise simply by taking walks, going swimming or doing physical activity you enjoy. It's not necessary to jog or do heavy workouts.
10. Learn as much as you can about how to avoid diabetes from authoritative medical and nutrition professionals. Your education will help you understand the differences between reality and myths about diabetes. Plenty of valuable information can be found at Diabetes.org.
Be sure to consult with your doctor before making any decisions about your health. Contact us at Sarasota Bay Club to learn more about our community and how you can live a more active, healthy life in our community!