Apothecary shares common risk factors, lifestyle recommendations for prevention and tips for detection and care

Filed under: Community |

Duncanville, TX, Nov. 2011 – According to the American Diabetes Association, every 17 seconds, someone is diagnosed with diabetes.

“Diabetes is much more than just a national public health issue, it is a devastating epidemic that touches countless people in our own community, including friends, family members and co-workers,” said Dan Jespersen, owner of Ben Franklin Apothecary. “Fortunately, by taking simple steps to promote healthy lifestyles, we can help people who are at-risk to prevent the development of diabetes, while also establishing healthy lifestyle habits for our children and future generations in our community.”

According to Mr. Jespersen, understanding diabetes as well as symptoms and risk factors is critical to promoting diabetes awareness and preventing diabetes in future generations of Americans:

What is Diabetes? Diabetes is a condition characterized by the body’s inability to properly use or produce insulin, a hormone that helps to body to use and store sugar (glucose) in the blood. There are three types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 – Body cannot produce insulin
  • Type 2 – Body cannot use insulin properly and cannot sustain adequate levels
  • Gestational diabetes – Occurring in pregnant women with high blood glucose levels

What are the risk factors? The chance of developing diabetes over one’s lifetime is significantly increased by exhibiting a variety of risk factors. While some of these risk factors are acquired by birth or time and cannot be changed – such as family history, age (persons 45 years of age or older are at higher risk and ethnicity (African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans or Americans of Pacific Islander heritage) – other risk factors can be attributed to unhealthy lifestyle choices, including being overweight/obese, exhibiting high blood pressure or hypertension and having low HDL, or “good,” cholesterol (under 35 mg/dL).

What are the symptoms? According to the ADA, the most common symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, excessive thirst, extreme hunger, unusual weight loss, increased fatigue and blurry vision. If you exhibit any combination of these symptoms, consult your physician or the pharmacists at Ben Franklin Apothecary immediately to schedule a blood glucose screening. Remember, only your primary care physician or other qualified healthcare professional can diagnose diabetes.

If you exhibit any of these risk factors, Dan recommends taking steps to adopt healthy lifestyle choices to combat the development of diabetes, including:

  • Adopting a healthy diet. Adopting a sensible, well-balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables is essential to preventing the leading risk factors for diabetes and maintaining a healthy blood glucose levels. The ADA recommends a variety of healthy eating habits, including:
    • Replacing processed grain products, typically high in gluten content, with gluten-free whole-grain foods.
    • Using liquid oils instead of solid fats, which are typically rich in saturated and trans fats.
    • Eating low-fat, low-calorie alternatives wherever possible, including lean meats and non-fat dairy products. In addition, high-calorie snack-foods and drinks can cause spikes in blood glucose and should only be consumed sparingly, if at all.
    • Using portion control to help maintain an adequate, but not excessive, caloric intake.
  • Engaging in regular exercise and physical activity. Participating in regular exercise and daily physical activity is an excellent way to lower blood glucose and remedy high blood pressure and cholesterol, common risk factors for heart disease as well as diabetes. For most people, engaging in 30 minutes of vigorous exercise 5 to 7 times per week can have a dramatic, positive impact.

If you already have been diagnosed with diabetes, adopting these healthy lifestyle choices can help you to maintain healthy blood glucose levels and lower the risk for many diabetes-related complications and health conditions. There also are a variety of products available at Ben Franklin Apothecary that can help patients monitor and maintain normal blood glucose levels, including glucose monitoring equipment and blood glucose testing strips. The store also carries a large assortment of sugar-free food items & special diabetic socks & footwear for men & women!

To learn more about diabetes detection, prevention or care, visit www.benfranklinrx.com or call Ben Franklin Apothecary at (972) 298-4936 during store hours.