My grandpa has had type 2 diabetes my whole life. I’ve never known him any other way than taking insulin daily. With the diabetes comes a whole slew of other medical issues: high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, foot ulcer and vascular dementia. No child should know so many medical terms and their meanings at such a young age, constantly having to worry about your elder. The kind of diabetes he has was self-induced thus leading to his other medical conditions to be heightened. Because of that he missed out on so many things in his grandchildren’s lives.
Type 2 diabetes typically forms in adults over 45 years old. One in 10 Americans have diabetes and for around 90% it is type 2, meaning most of those people were able to prevent it. According to the CDC type 2 diabetes can be prevented by making a healthy lifestyle change. Eating healthier, drinking more water and physical activity all contribute to that desired lifestyle.
When creating a healthy lifestyle, you must look at every aspect of your life and create those habits to succeed. It can’t be achieved by only working out once a week or eating one healthy meal a day. It must be sustainable to fit into your everyday life. Some of the fad “diets” circulating around social media today aren’t practical to incorporate into your life and only worry about the caloric intake. There are too many people counting calories, and not chemicals.
A healthy lifestyle is cheaper than medical bills and time spent in doctor offices. But even more importantly it isn’t about just living a long life, it’s about living a long life with quality. Who wants to be severely limited in their capabilities during their final 30 years of living?
Fruits and veggies are on the top of every list related to “healthy eating,” yet most Americans do not consume the proper amount. Experts say 10 servings a day would create a longer life, and if everyone did this, 7.8 million deaths could be prevented in the world. Other foods that contribute to a healthy diet are whole grains, low-fat dairy, fish, nuts and beans.
Since becoming more interested in overall health and well-being I have made so many realizations. Just by eating healthy, in combination with an overall healthy lifestyle, so many more people in America can live a high-quality life. It truly is amazing when you have such a close connection to someone affected with a chronic disease.
If my grandpa just ate healthy and exercised consistently through his life prior to his diagnosis, I could have had a grandfather that was able to do activities with his grandchildren. All of this leads to the question, why are Americans largely focused on treating diabetes instead of preventing it?