Unless Americans quickly make dramatic changes in their lifestyles, half of the adult population will develop diabetes or prediabetes by 2020, according to a new prediction from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If Americans don't put the brakes on their free-wheeling diets, the numbers of people with elevated blood sugar levels will skyrocket from 93.8 million (approximately 28 million with diabetes and an additional 66 million more with prediabetes) to 135 million in 2020. That will unleash a tsunami of disease that will wreak havoc, causing a flood of diabetes-related damage on the body including cardiovascular and kidney disease. And it's not just adults that are at risk.
In addition, diabetes is becoming one of the most common chronic diseases in children and adolescents. According to the American Diabetes Association, one in every four children is currently diagnosed with diabetes. Dr. Joel Zonszein, professor of clinical medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, believes that unless healthy lifestyle changes are made early in life, diabetes could become an epidemic of tsunami-like proportions.
Prediabetes, which affects an estimated 79 million Americans, has been termed "America's Largest Healthcare Epidemic." It is diagnosed when blood sugar levels are consistently high, but not high enough to be classified as full-blown diabetes.
The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine by scientists at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, found that diabetes can be prevented.
In the DPP study, the incidence of diabetes in those with prediabetes is 11 percent when nothing is done. However, when metformin — a drug used to control blood sugar — is used, it is reduced to 7.8 percent, and lifestyle changes can reduce it to 4.8 percent. The DPP recommended that metformin, combined with lifestyle changes, could prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. That's particularly important in light of recent studies that show long-term damage affecting the heart, nerves, kidneys, and eyes, may already be developing.
Is diabetes a part of your future? If you have a lot of belly fat, your blood sugar levels are high (greater than 100 mg/dl), you have high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, you may be a ticking time bomb.
But you don't have to resort to drugs. The first step to lowering your risk is changing your diet, according to Newsmax health contributor Dr. Russell Blaylock, editor of "The Blaylock Wellness Report." Follow his advice to lower your odds of becoming part of the diabetic tsunami:
• Cut MSG from your diet.
• Exercise regularly.
• Lose belly fat.
• Lower bad cholesterol levels with garlic extract.
• Lower homocysteine levels.
• Add fiber to your diet to lower blood sugar.
• Avoid foods high in iron.
• Consume at least 3 grams of omega-3 fats daily.
• Take advantage of natural antioxidants in fruits and vegetables.
• Use vitamin supplements to prevent cholesterol oxidation and nerve damage. Editor's Note: Your Sugar Level May Be Killing You. Control Naturally.