Watch for signs of diabetes

Published 6:30 pm Wednesday, November 28, 2007

By Staff
November is American Diabetes Month. Did you know that diabetes and heart disease are linked? People with diabetes are at high risk for a heart attack or a stroke. Their heart attacks tend to be more serious and can happen early in life. In fact, two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke. Both women and men are at risk.
If you have diabetes, your body is not able to use glucose which is the sugar in the bloodstream. The sugar that cannot be used is carried out of your body as waste by the urine. To get rid of the excess sugar you must empty your bladder more often than usual. This frequent urination causes you to be thirsty. You may lose weight even though you feel hungry and eat more than usual. Feeling drowsy, tried, weak, nervous and cross are also symptoms of diabetes. Other symptoms are itching and slow healing of cuts and bruises.
Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke. During American Diabetes Month this November, the American Diabetes Association with the American College of Cardiology are working to increase awareness of the link between diabetes and heart disease. Through an initiative called “Make the Link! Diabetes, Heart Disease and Stroke” the organizations are urging people with diabetes to learn how they can lower their chances for heart disease and stroke.
Diabetes occurs in children and young people, but it is more common in middle-aged and older people who are overweight.
People with blood relatives who have diabetes are more likely to develop it than others.
Eight out of every ten people who have diabetes weigh too much at the time their diabetes is found. Often a person can control diabetes be getting their weight down to normal and keeping it there. So it is important to keep your weight at a normal level, especially if you are over 40 and have a blood relative who is a diabetic.
Ways to Beat Fatigue During the Holidays and throughout the New Year
The challenge for many people isn't knowing what is good for them, but finding a way to do it. If there is no underlying illness as a cause for tiredness, consider these tips for boosting your energy:
Eat a low-fat diet. Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day and at least six servings of whole grain breads and cereals a day. Carry fruit or whole wheat crackers for snacks. Avoid sweets and fatty fast-foods. Avoid yo-yo dieting (repeated weight losses and gains), which stresses the body and takes a toll on energy reserves. Diet right-eat sensibly.
Get sound, uninterrupted sleep (needs vary - 8 hours is a generous average).
Exercise uses energy, but generates even more. It refreshes every part of the body and also refreshes one's outlook. Make time for exercise.
Relaxation should provide a sense of relief. Types of relaxation differ for individuals. Many persons try yoga, meditation, biking, walking or other forms of focused relaxation.
Do It
Many people benefit from counseling, a course of developing coping and stress management strategies or a training session on empowerment.
Try any or all of these ideas to help you beat fatigue not just during the holidays but throughout the year.