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Stop Doing This or You'll Risk Diabetes, Warn Experts

Diabetes affects over 34 million Americans.

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects 34.2 million Americans according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are three main types of diabetes type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes and the disease can occur in children and adults. If left untreated or undiagnosed, diabetes can cause a heart attack, kidney failure, coma and death. Lifestyle changes can prevent type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form. Read the five tips below to find out more about diabetes and how to help prevent the disease—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Diabetes Stats you Need to Know


The International Diabetes Federation states that 537 million people worldwide live with diabetes—that's 1 in 10 people. This number is expected to greatly increase to 643 million by 2030 and 784 million by 2045. So far this year 6.7 million people have died from diabetes, 1 person every five seconds. "As the world marks the centenary of the discovery of insulin, I wish we could say we've stopped the rising tide of diabetes," IDF President Dr. Andrew Boulton told CNN. "Instead, diabetes is currently a pandemic of unprecedented magnitude."


COVID and Diabetes

Infected patient in quarantine lying in bed in hospital

People with diabetes are at a greater risk for COVID according to a recent study published in February from the American Diabetes Association. "And if you want another startling statistic, as many as 40% of the people that have died in the US from COVID-19 had diabetes," said Dr. Robert Gabbay, chief scientific and medical officer for the American Diabetes Association. "There may be more people developing diabetes because of Covid," Gabbay told CNN. It's very possible that COVID-19 is not the culprit. Blood sugar abnormalities could be triggered by the stress of an infection and the steroids used to fight COVID-19 inflammation, Gabbay said. But there is also evidence that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can bind to the ACE2 receptors in the islet cells of the pancreas — the organ that produces the body's insulin, Boulton and Gabbay told CNN. "The virus attacks those cells in the pancreas and interferes with their production of insulin, so that may be another mechanism," Gabbay said. "And those individuals that are diagnosed in the hospital with diabetes for the first time, through whichever mechanism, sadly do worse."


Regular Exercise

Woman exercise walking outdoors, shoes closeup

Boulton told CNN, "Studies in Finland a few decades ago found that people with "very slight elevated blood sugar" who followed a sensible diet and regular exercise "had a 54% reduction in proceeding to Type 2 diabetes." He added, "And it didn't have to be flogging yourself in the gym," he added. "It's sensible exercising, walking instead of riding the bus and walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator, that can do the trick."


Add Fruit and Veggies to Your Diet

fruits and vegetables

We all know that eating fruits and vegetables is good for you, but it can help prevent diabetes. CNN reports, "Two recent studies found that adding about a third of a cup of fruit or vegetables to your daily diet could cut your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 25%, while higher consumptions of whole grains, such as brown bread and oatmeal, could cut the risk by 29%."


Don't Skip Doctor Visits

Woman have her blood pressure checked by female doctor.

Gabbay told CNN, "People in remission may still be at risk for some of the long-term complications, and therefore, they still need to be monitored, with quarterly blood tests, a yearly eye and foot test, and yearly screening for kidney disease and cholesterol levels." And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more about Heather
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