From The Doctor

Published on January 21st, 2017 | by Justin Hovey


Playing the Game of Risk

In the United States, physicians rarely get the chance to counsel on prevention. Physicians usually counsel patients on their chronic diseases. When the opportunity arises, albeit rare in the state of Alabama, we prefer to help prevent those chronic diseases from occurring. One of the most common chronic diseases is diabetes mellitus type II. Diabetes mellitus type II is extremely common in the United States There are approximately 300 million people in this country with diabetes type II.

The rise of type II diabetes has coincided with the rise in obesity in this country. Thus, the risk of acquiring this type of diabetes revolves around weight gain and the increasing size of the waist. Also, diabetes can be inherited. The disease is essentially insulin resistance. Exposure to higher glucose (sugar) in the blood repeatedly desensitizes the bodies’ insulin receptors. As the receptors become less sensitive to insulin, the pancreas puts out more insulin to overcome this resistance. Eventually, the pancreas burns out.

This disease is extremely important because it affects multiple organ systems. It is a vascular disease. It may lead to heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, etc. Controlling the disease once someone has been diagnosed does not stop progression of the disease, it just slows it down. Thus, prevention is key.

Preventing the disease is not as easy as it seems. Routine diet and exercise can prove to be difficult in our fast-paced lives. Carving out time for exercise is important and monitoring your diet is essential for avoiding diabetes. Exercise at least three to five times a week about 30 minutes or more at a time. Limit time in front of electronics and sitting for long periods of time. Limit portion sizes, sugary drinks, fast food and fried foods. Also, monitor/limit intake of simple carbohydrates such as bread, rice, refined sugar (candy and sweets), potatoes and alcohol. Doing these things can reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes mellitus type II.


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