My husband’s older brother was recently diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes is a word that, for me, conjures up an image of an ogre. An huge, ugly, angry ogre. My mom battled diabetes for years and I saw, first hand, just how relentless this disease can be. I honestly admire diabetics because they fight a daily battle that most of us (hopefully.. prayerfully…) will never have to suit up for.
My mom, like many diabetics, got the worse end of the deal: Being diagnosed later in life. Personally, I think this makes the whole fight nastier. She, like my brother-in-law, was quite accustomed to strawberry shortcake, cokes, banana pudding and other lovelies we take for granted. When you’re diagnosed as an adult, you have to stop right in the middle of the road and completely change directions. The ogre stands in the way that you want to go – like a roadblock. And if you try to sneak past him, you’re going to pay.
My poor, hard-headed little mother (with a head-full of sweet teeth) tried to sneak past him often. The toll it took on her health ultimately led to heart disease, many hospital visits, and even a stint. In the end, she died far, far, far, far too young.
So, yeah, I’ll always hate diabetes and heart disease with a cruel, unChristian passion. (Hence the many articles on Self Help Daily about heart health, healthy eating, and creating a healthy lifestyle. The fight? It’s on!)
“Exercise: You don’t have time not to.”
– Author unknown
My brother-in-law’s diagnosis has reignited the flames of hatred for this disease and made me realize that we all need to keep this ogre (Diabetes) in mind when we go about our daily lives – making choices that directly affect our health and, thereby, the lives of everyone we love.
A few facts from Shop to Stop Diabetes.org:
- Diabetes kills more Americans every year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.
- It’s the #1 cause of blindness in adults.
- It doubles the risk of heart attack & stroke.
- 1 in 3 American children born today will develop diabetes if current trends continue.
- In the next 24 hours, 4,320 new cases of diabetes will be diagnosed.
- 1 in 4 Americans who have diabetes don’t know it.
Fortunately, there are actually things we can do to keep the ogre from showing up on our doorstep. As the Crucifix sends Count Dracula on his way, there are things we can do and things we can avoid that’ll send Diabetes crawling back into its corner.
“Did you ever stop to taste a carrot? Not just eat it, but taste it? You can’t taste the beauty and energy of the earth in a Twinkie.”
– Astrid Alauda
The American Diabetes Association and WebMD Provide A Wealth of Information Including:
- The larger your waist, the higher your risk of developing diabetes. People with “Apple” shapes (more fat around your middle than around your hips) are at a higher risk than “Pear” shapes (more fat around your hips and backside). All experts agree, getting in shape and maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important steps to take for preventing diabetes.
- Watch how much you eat. We’ve become a society of big eaters – we eat often and we eat a great deal. Watch your portion sizes and eat to live, not live to eat.
- Get plenty of exercise. Couch potatoes are ripe for trouble! Be sure you get at least 30 minutes of activity at least 5 times a week.
- Address any health problems you have asap. If you’re overweight, lose the extra pounds. If you have high blood pressure, see a doctor. Use common sense and take control of your health and your life.
“When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no ‘I’ll start tomorrow.’ Tomorrow is disease.” – Terri Guillemets
From WebMD.com: “A study done by the Harvard School of Public Health and published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that being overweight and obese was the single most important risk factor that predicted who would develop type 2 diabetes. During a 16 year follow-up period, study results showed that regular exercise — at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week — and an improved diet that’s low in fat and high in fiber significantly helped with type 2 diabetes prevention. The bottom line: type 2 diabetes prevention could be as easy as adopting healthy lifestyle habits.” – Preventing Type 2 Diabetes, WebMD.com (Click the link to learn more!)
- According to Medical News Today, broccoli may helpful in diabetes prevention. Broccoli contains phytonutrients — compounds that may help prevent diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
Exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they’ll ease
Your will they’ll mend
And charge you not a shilling.
– Nursery rhyme quoted by Wayne Fields, What the River Knows, 1990
Learn more about the causes and symptoms of diabetes at EverydayHealth.com