Diabetes Introduction

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DiabetesIt is important to begin the section on diabetes by emphasizing just how dangerous the disease truly is. It destroys your body from the inside. It damages every single organ in your body. Ultimately, diabetes kills!

Worse yet, the organs most prominently related to symptoms of diabetes include the kidneys (decreased renal function), the eyes (decreased vision), and, most importantly to many men, the penis (erectile dysfunction). Unfortunately, much of the damage done is extremely severe and generally not reversible.

People underestimate the damage that diabetes does to their bodies. This is because, unless blood sugar rises to an astronomical level, symptoms of the disease occur slowly and progressively over time. On the contrary, symptoms of heart disease, like chest pain and shortness of breath, are immediately detectable when they occur.

Nearly 1 in 5 men age 65-74 have diabetes (a large percentage of whom are undiagnosed), and nearly 1 in 4 men over age 74 have the disease.

Nutrition and Diabetes

It is imperative that you learn about diabetes, including how to prevent it from occurring and how to manage it does occur. Our goal is to encourage you to improve your lifestyle to help prevent the development of the disease. Look at the list of risk factors. You have the ability to improve or control your body weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels through improved diet and exercise. (See Nutrition and Exercise). See the many guidelines and recommendations available on our website.

Lifestyle is essential. You can slow down or prevent this disease. If you have it, you can control or even reverse it. So, go get healthy!

EMG Health Homepage: Men’s Health Introduction

5 Steps to Preventing Diabetes Mellitus Type 2

Certain modifiable risk factors can significantly increase your chances of developing Diabetes Mellitus Type 2. The following five steps provide a guideline for improving your overall health and significantly decreasing your risk of developing Diabetes Mellitus Type 2.

  • Exercise More – Regular exercise can substantially decrease the risk of developing diabetes even if it does not lead to weight loss. (See Exercise)
  • Keep Weight in Check – Maintaining a healthy body composition with a high lean muscle to fat ratio (see Body Mass Ratio and Waist to Height Ratio) also lowers the risk of developing Diabetes Mellitus Type 2.
  • Limit Simple, Refined Carbohydrates and Sugary Drinks – Consuming simple, highly refined carbohydrates (white bread, white rice, white potatoes) and sugary drinks (soft drinks and fruit juices) can cause temporary elevations in blood glucose levels. Over time, excessive consumption of these types of foods can increase the risk of Diabetes Mellitus Type 2. Choose whole grain foods, such as whole grain bread, brown rice, and sweet potatoes, as a healthy alternative. Also, it is best to minimize consumption of or completely avoid soft drinks if at all possible. (See Carbohydrates)
  • Focus on Plant Foods – A diet high in whole grains and fiber can reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Replace saturated animal fats with plant-based mono- and polyunsaturated fats and limit consumption of red and processed meat. Additionally, choose certain grains, beans, nuts, and fish as a much healthier source of protein. (See Protein Sources).
  • Stop Smoking! – Smoking increases the risk of developing Diabetes Mellitus Type 2. Quitting smoking eliminates this unnecessary risk.

External Resources: MedlinePlus: Diabetes

1. Khardori R, Griffing GT. Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/117853-overview#aw2aab6b2b5.: Medscape Reference; 2012.