If you or someone you know is living with diabetes and requires a therapeutic diet, you are not alone. Living with diabetes can affect a person's ability to live independently.
Look at the Numbers
The prevalence of diabetes continues to grow, and in 2010 26% of U.S. residents ages 65 and older were living with diabetes, according to the National Diabetes Information Clearing House. On top of that, an estimated 54 million persons have pre-diabetes, a condition in which a person’s blood glucose level is above normal, but not yet in the range of a diagnosis of diabetes. People with pre-diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes through lifestyle changes of increasing physical activity levels and losing 5% to 7% of body weight. If you are 65 or older, take the first step, and ask your doctor, “Am I at risk for diabetes?”
According to the Mayo Clinic, “’diabetes mellitus’ refers to a group of diseases that affect how your body uses blood glucose, commonly called blood sugar. Glucose is vital to your health because it's an important source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and tissues.”
The Challenges of Care
Having diabetes or caring for someone with diabetes is challenging because it requires sticking to a low glycemic and scheduled diet, but even small daily changes can make a big impact on health and wellbeing. Simple steps such as eating regularly and responsibly throughout the day and walking can help. Try switching out white potatoes and processed foods containing white flour or rice with sweet potatoes and brown rice to satisfy your hunger in a healthier way.
To learn more about Diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association. You may also qualify for a free blood glucose test for people at risk for diabetes.