Wow! According the new CDC estimates of diagnosed AND UNDIAGNOSED (people walking around who likely have diabetes but don't yet know it...or who choose to not see the doctor to find out), nearly 26 million Americans (11.3% of adults) now have diabetes! This number is startling!! Not to mention, that nearly 80 million (35% of adults) qualify as having prediabetes (a 3 month fasting blood sugar percentage (called a hemoglobin A1C) of 5.9 - 6.4%), the stage before diabetes. The American Diabetes Association marks 6.5% as the cutoff for the diagnosis of Diabetes. If these trends continue, one in three American adults could have diabetes by 2050! That's really hard to grasp in terms of health care outcomes. Can you imagine how expensive this will be!!?!?!!
As many of you know uncontrolled diabetes wreaks havoc on the body. It is the number one cause of chronic kidney disease (and the need for people to be on dialysis) and contributes significantly to the prevalence of blindness, stroke, heart attack, etc., in the U.S. It is time to take control and reverse this trend. At the very least, for future generations! For the first time since the industrial revolution, a child born today in the U.S. is slated to live a shorter lifespan than their parents! And this is DESPITE all of the advances in treatment of disease! As a Public Health professional as well as a general internist, this concerns me gravely. We MUST take a stand (yet again!) and demand more for ourselves and our children!
Despite what many people think, it really doesn't take that much to make small changes in your lifestyle that contribute to big results. Walk to work (if close enough); play outside with your kids for at least 20 minutes a day; cut out regular sodas (and diet too as they train your tongue to crave super sweet things...but start with regular); cook healthy, low-cost dinners for your family instead of eating out; order dressing on the side; use sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes; skip a few servings of meat 2-3 times a week and consider ordering a regular coffee instead of a latte. Not only will your organs and joints thank you, but you'll save money too! Also try Mindfulness-Based Eating, a mind-body technique to train your brain to know when to stop eating because you are full. (I hope to learn to facilitate this therapy in the next few years).
Don't get me wrong, change is hard. But, it really doesn't take that much energy to institute a few of these ideas...you just have to make up your mind to CHOOSE health or CHOOSE disease...it's up to you! I believe in you and would love to help any of my readers improve their health through weight loss. Just email me and I can help get you started! And NO, I do not think you are weak, lazy or undisciplined. Life is hard and we sometimes lose ourselves in the chaos of it all. I am here for YOU!
Dr. Maltz earned a Medical Degree and Master in Public Health from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, TX. She completed a combined Internal and Preventive Medicine Residency at UTMB in June, 2011. She then completed a 2-year Integrative Medicine Fellowship at Stamford Hospital in Stamford, CT, during which she simultaneously underwent an intensive 1000-hour curriculum created by The University of Arizona Integrative Medicine Program founded by Dr. Andrew Weil.