Patients with diabetes can help prevent complications such as cardiovascular disease or stroke with the right medical treatment. According to the ADA, reducing diastolic blood pressure from 90 mmHg to 80 mmHg in people with diabetes reduces the risk of major cardiovascular events by 50 percent.
When diabetes is left untreated it can lead to serious complications such as:
• Kidney failure
• Heart disease
• Nerve damage
• Non-traumatic lower-limb amputations
“Diabetes affects major organs including your heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys,” explains Dr. Vasdev Lohano, MD at Daviess Community Hospital. “It is important to take a diabetes or pre-diabetes diagnosis seriously to avoid life-threatening complications. Lifestyle changes can potentially reverse the disease in pre-diabetic patients to make significant metabolic improvement.”
Researchers are hopeful that one day diabetes patients will only require insulin injections once a week or less. The Harvard Stem Cell Institute recently discovered a hormone that naturally regulates insulin. When tested in mice, the hormone triggered the pancreas to produce insulin up to 30 times more than the normal rate. While the hormone has not yet been approved for humans, the research is welcome news to the millions who administer insulin each day.
While there is no cure for diabetes, treatment options consist of following a meal plan that is low in sugar and solid fats, regular exercise, oral medications, and insulin injections. Consult your healthcare professional to understand your risk for diabetes, or to determine the best treatment options that will help you manage the disease.
Throughout the month of November, there are several events nationwide. You can participate in runs like “Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes” race or you can donate money online to fund research. For more information on diabetes and diabetes awareness, please visit the American Diabetes Association’s website at http://www.diabetes.org.
Special to TH