Boomers and the increase in incidences of pre-diabetes
Pre-diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases in the world. It affects over 86 million people in the United States and is putting a huge burden on the healthcare system.
One of the driving force behind the surge in this disease is an aging baby boomer population – age approx. 51 – 70.
Boomers were and still are a driving force in this country but in many ways they became victims of a lifestyle of poor eating and sedentary living.
In the seventies and eighties when boomers hit the workforce en masse, lots of fast foods establishments cropped up to serve their eating habits.
This is also a time when watching lots of TV shows became popular and sitting at home watching your favorite evening show was how many people relaxed and unwind.
In my opinion, this was the start of many health problems we are having today . . . chief among them being pre-diabetes, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Because of advances in medicine many of these diseases can be treated medically with the only caveat being that we now have a group of people who are tied, umbilically, to big pharma for their well-being. It is estimated that the annual cost of caring for pre-diabetics and diabetics is approximately $176 billion.
The good news is that much of this cost can be eliminated if the general population took things into their hands and not become dollars signs for the medical establishment.
Inspite of the fact that people neglected their health, there are things we can do, starting now, to reverse the effects of poor diet and sedentary lifestyle.
What can we do to prevent pre-diabetes?
The two most important changes we can make, as inferred above, is to focus on improving our diets and becoming more active. The monetary outlay for these changes is a lot cheaper than paying hundreds of dollars for medication that’s only putting a band-aid on the problem.
Your only investment would be to buy and consume natural whole foods instead of the standard sugar and artificial laden mass produced foods available in the supermarkets or advertised in the media.
Also for $10 per month you can join a modern gym with personal trainers and a well informed staff who can help new members. One such gym uses as their motto the ‘. . . Judgement Free Zone’.
For those who prefer to workout at home or who spend a lot of time on the road get a set of resistance bands that includes sample exercise programs for all ages.
Other things you can do to prevent pre-diabetes as you get older include:
- Get tested. When was the last time you visited the doctor for a medical check up. If you have any of the risk factors for pre-diabetes – family history, overweight or obese, belong to certain ethnic groups or are over age fifty – then it’s important to get regular health checkups.
- As mentioned above one of the key fixes to prevent pre-diabetes is to improve your diet. We have been so used to eating carbohydrates that we give it no thought when we prepare our meals. But it’s time to revisit this food group with the intent to seriously reduce the daily amount we eat. Over consumption of carbs is one sure path to insulin resistance. Replace the mash potatoes, fries and mounds of rice with leafy green veggies, substitute Greek yoghurt for your sweet after meal treat. There are many alternatives to pizza night – a healthy wrap with pita bread, lean turkey meal balls with veggie pasta or pita bread and humus. I am sure if you give it some thought you can think of a lot more alternatives.
- Lose weight if you are overweight or obese.
- Reduce the stresses in your life. As we age we are faced with a multitude of daily stressors. It’s time to take these one at a time or in groups and deal with them. Stress by itself is not a bad thing but if we allow it to rule our daily lives it will cause serious health problem . . . from excessive weight gain to cancer.
- Many of us have been getting by on four or five hours of sleep each day. It has been now been shown in studies that missing out on a good night sleep can lead to impaired blood glucose levels or pre-diabetes. Try to get an average of eight hours of sleep each time you go to bed.
- If you have been prescribed medications for your condition then by all means take them. Follow your doctors recommendations for reducing any meds you may have been prescribed.
Prevent pre-diabetes before if becomes full-blown diabetes. This is your best opportunity to prevent serious complications that can affect your quality of life. It will be a struggle at times but the downside of succumbing to the uncontrolled blood glucose are too great. Take action now to prevent this disease from happening to you and enjoy the benefits of a healthier life.
Visit How to Prevent Pre-diabetes for more information on this disease and what you can do to put the odds in your favor of not developing this condition.