The incidence rates for diabetes haven’t dropped in the U.S., and the number of afflicted people is actually expected to rise. Given this gloomy forecast, the government has decided to increase its efforts to help limit the number of individuals who are stricken with the disease in the future.
Knowing is Half of the Battle
According to HealthDay News, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched a new public information campaign that’s targeting the estimated 86 million adults in the U.S. who have prediabetes. This number represents one in three American adults, so the CDC has created online tools to help people learn about their status with regard to the disease.
Adults can take a short online test at DoIHavePrediabetes.org to find out if they are at risk. This online push is being launched in conjunction with TV and radio announcements in order to increase public awareness of the risks associated with prediabetes and type-2 diabetes.
“This is a very simple and quick tool that will allow people to see if they are at risk for prediabetes or diabetes,” Dr. Mary Vouyiouklis Kellis, an endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic, said in a release. “If they are at higher risk, this will hopefully prompt them to seek medical attention sooner.”
The CDC noted that if prediabetes goes untreated up to 30 percent of those individuals will develop type-2 diabetes within five years. Dr. Vouyiouklis Kellis noted that once these people learn of their status, they can make significant alterations to their lifestyle and habits in order to prevent the development of type-2 diabetes.
“Losing 5 to 7 percent of body weight can significantly reduce your risk as well as making lifestyle changes, which include portion control, reducing foods with refined sugars and exercising regularly,” she added. “Exercising just 30 minutes a day, five days a week, can also help reduce this risk.”
Sleep the Problem Away
Increased exercise and better portion control aren’t the only ways to limit your risk of getting type-2 diabetes. New research has shown that sleeping in on weekends (as if you need to convince people to do this!) can also limit the incidence of diabetes.
According to Reuters Health, not only can getting too little sleep during the week increase the risk of diabetes, but also sleeping in on the weekends can improve your chances of not getting the disease. Though the study was conducted with a small group of healthy young men, the data generated showed significant differences in the way that rested people are able to process sugar in their blood.
“It gives us some hope that if there is no way to extend sleep during the week, people should try very hard to protect their sleep when they do get an opportunity to sleep in and sleep as much as possible to pay back the sleep debt,” said lead study author Josaine Broussard of the University of Colorado Boulder.
The researchers found that after four nights of sleep deprivation, the insulin sensitivity of the volunteers had fallen by 23 percent and their bodies began to produce extra insulin, according to Reuters. Once they received two nights of extended sleep, however, the insulin levels began to return to normal.
Obviously, results from smaller studies aren’t going to hold true for the entire U.S. population, but it does show that certain lifestyle choices can affect one’s chances of acquiring diabetes. This also goes for those who already have the disease, as maintaining a healthy lifestyle and constantly monitoring levels can significantly affect how impacted one will be by diabetes.