Diabetes? No Problema! (Continued)
Having an elevated blood glucose or blood sugar level can have a tremendously negative impact on your long-term health and enjoyment of life. Diabetes has the potential to rob you, on average, of more than twelve years of your life while reducing the quality of life for twenty or more years.
Diabetes causes other health problems that can severely limit your quality of life. For instance, elevated blood sugar levels over time can damage your eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Poorly controlled diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults, with proliferative diabetic retinopathy (a severe form of diabetic eye disease) alone causing tens of thousands of these new cases in addition to those caused by glaucoma, cataracts, and neuropathy of the optic or eye muscle nerves. Poorly managed diabetes is also the leading cause of kidney disease treated by dialysis and ultimately kidney transplants. Nerve damage can cause numbness in feet or hands, gastroparesis (slowing of the digestion of food), carpal tunnel syndrome, and severe dizziness when standing up, and can lead to toe, foot, and leg amputations. If you're pregnant and have diabetes, your baby can get too big and have a higher risk of birth defects unless you effectively control your blood sugar.
But despite these sobering facts, we're here to reassure you that you can live a long and healthy life with diabetes or prediabetes. The rest of Diabetes? No Problema! will teach you everything you need to know to improve your health through means within your control, like your diet, physical activity, and stress management. The good news is that it's possible for you to start gaining health benefits today. Taking control of your diabetes is important for you and your whole family!
Diabetes? No Problema! will be available nationwide in bookstores and on the Internet in early July 2009.
About the Authors
Sheri R. Colberg, PhD, is an exercise physiologist and professor of exercise science at Old Dominion University and adjunct professor of internal medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. A respected researcher and lecturer, she has authored more than 150 research and educational articles on exercise, diabetes, and health, as well as numerous books, including Diabetes-Free Kids, The 7 Step Diabetes Fitness Plan, 50 Secrets of the Longest Living People with Diabetes, The Science of Staying Young, and Diabetic Athlete's Handbook. Her informative articles and books are available on her website at www.shericolberg.com.
Leonel Villa-Caballero, MD, PhD, was born in Mexico City. A researcher and clinician in the Family and Preventive Medicine Department at the University of California–San Diego School of Medicine, he has more than fifteen years of experience treating patients with diabetes. Currently he serves as director of the Latino Initiative of Taking Control of your Diabetes (TCOYD; www.tcoyd.org), a non-profit organization that educates and empowers people with diabetes. He received the American Diabetes Association's Cielo Award in 2006 and was recognized in America's Top Physicians in 2007. With his expertise in cultural aspects of Latino health, he is an investigator for various federal research grant projects and serves as a consultant to various biomedical companies focused on Latino health care issues.
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Years before I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, The Other Half came out of a doctor's appointment with a diagnosis of "borderline diabetes" and an ADA exchange diet sheet. His health insurance agency followed up on the diagnosis with a glucometer and test strips. After a year or so of trying to follow the diet plan and test his glucose levels, things appeared to be back in "normal" range, and stood there until a couple of years after my own diagnosis. Shortly...