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Diabetes in Men

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What is diabetes? continued...

Another driver of type 2 diabetes, also linked to the others, is inactivity. Lack of activity increases the risk of obesity, of course. But a sedentary lifestyle may contribute directly to type 2 diabetes risk, as well. Studies show that overweight or obese people who become active improve their blood sugar control, even if they don't lose weight.

An estimated 7 million people in the U.S. have this serious disease and don't know it. An estimated 79 million people have prediabetes, meaning they have elevated blood sugars not yet high enough to be diagnosed with the disease. However, with prediabetes you are at risk for diabetes in the future. It's easy for doctors to check for diabetes using a simple blood test that measures blood sugar levels or a test called a hemoglobin A1c. Unfortunately, many people aren't tested because they either don't have symptoms or the symptoms are so mild that they don't notice them. Talk to your doctor about being tested, especially if you're experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • increased thirst
  • increased hunger
  • fatigue
  • frequent urination, especially at night
  • unexplained weight loss
  • blurred vision
  • sores that don't heal

What can I do to prevent diabetes?

Plenty. Studies show that 90% of cases of type 2 diabetes could be prevented -- or significantly delayed -- simply through a healthier diet and plenty of physical activity. The big proof of that came in a study of 3,234 people who were overweight and had elevated blood glucose levels, putting them in the crosshairs of diabetes risk. Those who followed a lifestyle change program of exercise and diet geared to losing excess weight -- in this case, an average of 15 pounds -- lowered their risk of diabetes by 58%. Those in the 60-and-older set cut their risk by 71%. And these were people who already had a high risk of diabetes. Keep your weight in the normal range and stay active, experts say, and you stand an excellent chance of never getting diabetes.

How is diabetes treated?

A diabetes diagnosis isn't the end of the world. In some cases, lifestyle changes can keep the disease entirely under control. Still, many people with diabetes need to take oral medications that lower blood sugar levels. When these aren't enough to do the job, insulin (which is inhaled and/or injected) may be necessary, sometimes in combination with oral drugs. Several new drugs that work in combination with insulin to improve blood sugar management have been approved by the FDA.

While treatment has improved, however, controlling diabetes remains a challenge, which is why experts emphasize prevention.

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

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Answer:
Low
0-69
Normal
70-130
High
131+

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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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