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Are You Headed Toward Diabetes? – AARP

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En español | There’s a reason nearly 90 percent of people with prediabetes don’t realize they even have it: Symptoms can be hard to spot when your blood sugar is higher than it should be but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Some people in this precursor stage experience increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue or blurred vision — which are also signs of full-fledged diabetes. But more often than not, there are no clear signs. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the major risk factors for prediabetes and diabetes.
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• The best exercise for me
• Your heart and diabetes drugs
• The best breakfasts
Almost nine in 10 adults in the U.S. with diagnosed diabetes are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Research suggests why: One large study of more than 77,000 people with prediabetes, published in The Permanente Journal, found that the raises your risk for diabetes increased with increasing blood sugar levels and body mass index (BMI).

So it was no surprise when the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a panel of experts in disease prevention and evidence-based medicine, last week tweaked its recommendation on screening for diabetes: People who are overweight (meaning a BMI between 25 and 30) or obese (a BMI of 30 or more) should be screened for type 2 diabetes and abnormally high blood sugar levels beginning at age 35, rather than age 40, which was its previous recommendation.
The revised guidelines, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggested that health care providers consider screening overweight and obese patients at an even earlier age if they also have a family history of diabetes, a personal history of conditions like gestational diabetes, or if they are Black, Hispanic, Native American, Alaska Native or Asian American.
(For more on the link between diabetes and ethnicity, see “How Race Factors In.”)
One recent study, published in the journal Diabetologia, suggests that a high body mass index raises your risk for diabetes regardless of whether you have a genetic predisposition. Compared with people of normal weight, study participants who were overweight (meaning their BMI was between 25 and 30) were almost two and a half times more likely to develop diabetes. Obese participants (a BMI of 30 or more) were six times as likely.
“Although COVID-19 is a pandemic, overweight/obesity is becoming the most common chronic disease ‘pandemic’ in the world,” says Robert Eckel, professor of medicine emeritus at the University of Colorado School of Medicine Anschutz Medical Campus and immediate past president of the American Diabetes Association (ADA). “Obesity is the most important predictor of new onset type 2 diabetes.”
But it isn’t just BMI that figures in; where you carry your weight also makes a difference. “Fat around the waist — an apple shape — is uniquely dangerous for developing diabetes and other chronic illnesses such as heart disease and kidney failure,” says Mercedes Carnethon, professor and vice chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Fat in the waist region is described by scientists and doctors as being ‘metabolically active’ — meaning that central fat releases hormones and other biological substances that target and damage the organs and blood vessels that contribute to diabetes and other chronic illnesses.”
The good news? Research clearly shows that losing weight can delay the progression of prediabetes to diabetes.
The ADA, as well as the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology, recommends screening for diabetes every year beginning at age 45 — or even younger if you have other major risk factors. “The chances of developing diabetes are significantly higher with age,” says Marwan Hamaty, an endocrinologist at the Cleveland Clinic. “As we get older, there are declines in the function and number of cells secreting insulin.” Without the right amount of insulin, the glucose that normally powers cells gets stuck in the bloodstream, with potentially serious health effects. “Early detection is essential for successful treatment,” Hamaty adds.

Having a first-degree relative such as a parent or sibling with diabetes doubles, maybe even triples, your own risk of developing the disease. But having what’s considered a “family history” of diabetes is about more than just shared genes. “Some proportion of family history is due to the environment that a family shares,” says Carnethon. “That shared environment can include family meals and other behaviors that predispose [people] to diabetes.” If, for instance, you grew up in a physically inactive family that sat down to large meals on a daily basis, you’re likely to do so into adulthood.
Although you can’t do anything about your genetic makeup, you can alter your lifestyle. “Your genes don’t have to define your destiny, since genes interact with the environment to promote, or prevent, disease,” Carnethon says. “Knowing that a family member has diabetes should encourage other members of the family to adhere to healthy behaviors to prevent the onset of diabetes.” Those behaviors will include regular exercise and a healthy diet.
We all sit too much. In fact, research suggests the majority of us spend more than half of each day sitting. That alone dramatically ups the risk for diabetes — and not only because physical inactivity contributes to weight gain. A sedentary lifestyle also exacerbates insulin resistance, experts say. A large review of studies published in the journal Medicine and Sport Science suggests a 112 percent greater relative risk for type 2 diabetes associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

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To prevent diabetes — especially if you have prediabetes — the ADA recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (like brisk walking) and two to three strength-training sessions each week. But here’s the rub: You can meet the ADA’s recommendation for exercise and still be at risk for diabetes if you don’t break up prolonged bouts of sitting throughout the day. That’s why the ADA also suggests getting up every half hour and doing some form of activity for a few minutes, whether it’s stretching, jumping rope or walking in place.   

Up to 10 percent of women in the U.S. are affected by gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that can occur during pregnancy. Even if a woman’s blood sugar levels go down after giving birth, she’s still at higher risk for type 2 diabetes later in life. (For that matter, so is her baby.)
“The hormonal changes during pregnancy serve as a ‘stress test’ to the cells making insulin,” Hamaty says. “The demands for insulin increase significantly, and if they aren’t met, gestational diabetes develops.” About 50 percent of women with gestational diabetes go on to develop type 2, according to the CDC.
African Americans, Latino/Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and Alaska Natives are all at higher risk for diabetes than Caucasians. So, too, are some Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans. Although family history plays a role, environment is believed to play an equal role in contributing to the greatest risk factor — obesity. “The risk factors for obesity are shared among lower-income groups,” Carnethon says. “Lower-income communities have less access to healthy foods and safe spaces for physical activity, which can each drive obesity.”
What’s behind the greater diabetes risk for certain groups
You’ve heard — maybe even heeded — the warning: If you don’t watch what you eat and exercise regularly, you’re raising your risk for diabetes. What you may not hear as much about is the role ethnicity plays. African AmericansLatino/Hispanic Americans,, American Indians, and some Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans are all at higher risk for diabetes than Caucasians.

According to the 2020 National Diabetes Statistics Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, new diabetes cases were highest among Hispanics, followed closely by non-Hispanic Blacks. That’s why the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force now recommends that health care workers consider screening overweight and obese patients in these populations beginning no later than age 35. 
Not only are racial and ethnic minorities disproportionately affected by the disease, they’re also more likely to experience complications — such as blindness, kidney disease and amputations — than their white counterparts.
For a long time, researchers couldn’t make sense of why certain ethnic groups were hardest hit. They believed that genes were to blame — meaning more people of certain races were simply destined to develop diabetes. But research suggests that’s not the case. A study published in 2017 in the Journal of the American Medical Association set out to understand why Black adults in the U.S. are nearly twice as likely as white adults to develop type 2 diabetes. The researchers found that both groups actually have the same biological risk. The reason for the disparity has to do with a familiar culprit: obesity.
“Far and away, the leading factor for type 2 diabetes appears to be obesity,” says study co-author Mercedes Carnethon of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Factors we collectively refer to as the social determinants of health — our financial resources, access to health care, level of education and the neighborhoods we live in — all of these contribute to the development of obesity and common complications of being overweight, such as diabetes.”
Consider the consequences of living in a community that doesn’t have easy access to health care, nutritious foods or spaces that lend themselves to physical activity. “These things lead people to make choices that result in a higher risk of obesity,” Carnethon says. “That’s really what drives the disparities in the development of diabetes among ethnic groups.”
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ChalleNGe Academy graduate prepares for West Point journey – West Virginia MetroNews

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MONTGOMERY, W.Va. – A West Virginia National Guard Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy graduate is the first graduate to earn an appointment to the U.S. Army’s Military Service Academy, West Point.
William Farkas, 17, of Preston County, said he was has made a lifelong dream a reality.
It’s been something I’ve been dreaming about since elementary school and something I’ve been set on doing since middle school,” Farkas said during a Friday appearance on MetroNews “Talkline.”
He said the training he received at the Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy-South in Montgomery was key in developing the attitude and work ethic that enabled him to succeed. That level of focus was required to gain admission to one of the most prestigious universities in the country.
“Everybody was encouraging me there. Everybody wanted me to succeed,” Farkas said. “I kept testing on the ACT and I ended up scoring in the 30’s with my composite. I wouldn’t been able to do it without them.”
William Farkas becomes the first Mountaineer Challenge Academy graduate to receive an appointment to West Point. He talks about this next step in his life with @HoppyKercheval. WATCH: https://t.co/yCFQ3nDJuy pic.twitter.com/jJO0mae0Ap
— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) January 21, 2022

Within a paramilitary structure, cadets are challenged to learn coping skills, how to lead as well as how to follow, citizenship and physical fitness. Farkas said the program is very demanding. He was awarded the Robert C. Byrd Distinguished Cadet Award and Adjutant General’s Award for Academic Excellence as well as the appointment to West Point.
“The first day was a shock and the first night was even more so a shock,” Farkas said. “I went to sleep and asked myself,,’Am I really doing this? Am I really sleeping on a cot in the gym on reception day?’”
Farkas is enjoying this success before the next chapter of West Point preparation begins.
“It was worth it,” Farkas said. “Despite the initial challenges it was worth it.”
The next stop for Farkas is one-station unit training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He is scheduled to report to West Point in June to begin his college career.

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Sick Day Management for Diabetes: How to Plan Ahead – Healthline

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When you have diabetes, taking care of yourself during an illness has extra importance — even if the condition is as common as the flu or a urinary tract infection.
To avoid complications, it’s a good idea to plan ahead for how you’ll handle sick days, illnesses, and infections.
This article provides some expert guidance on:
When you have diabetes, an illness or infection can deliver a powerful one-two punch to your body. Here’s how.
One reason to plan ahead is because illness or infection can worsen diabetes symptoms.
Your body reacts to them the same way it reacts to stressful events. It produces a surge of hormones, including cortisol. Cortisol is often called the stress hormone.
When your body is flooded with cortisol, your blood sugar can spike for several reasons:
Both of these actions can mean that when your body is dealing with an illness or infection, you may experience a bump in your blood sugar levels.
If you have diabetes, you may have a higher risk of certain kinds of infection or illness.
Research from 2021 shows that people with diabetes are more likely to develop certain kinds of infections, including pneumonia and cystitis (urinary tract infections).
If you do get sick, you may face a higher risk of hospitalization. For example, 2021 research associated diabetes with longer hospital stays, more complications, and a greater risk of death with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
That’s why it’s so important to work with your diabetes care team to plan ahead, so you’ll know how to handle an illness, injury, or infection if it happens. Your plan can give you some peace of mind now, and it may protect your health later on.
Advocates at the American Diabetes Association and the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) recommend that your sick-day plan address the following key questions.
Let’s tackle these questions one at a time.
To prepare yourself for the sick days you’re bound to face sooner or later, talk with your diabetes care team about testing, medications, and warning signs.
When you’re sick, your blood sugar may go up for several reasons:
To keep your blood sugar in your target range, keep eating and drinking as close to your usual routine as possible. That may be easier said than done, especially if you have symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
If you’re having trouble eating and drinking, aim for:
If your blood sugar is too low, you may need to follow the 15-15 rule. That means you’ll need to consume 15 grams of carbs, then test your blood sugar 15 minutes afterward.
Talk with your healthcare team about whether hard candies or glucose tablets would work if you’re not able to keep down food or drink.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends testing your blood glucose levels every 4 hours whenever you’re feeling unwell.
Keep a notepad nearby so you have an accurate record to share with your doctor. You don’t want to rely on your memory of the readings at a time when your recall could be clouded by lack of sleep or worsening symptoms.
You may also need to test your urine for ketones. Ketones are a sign that your insulin levels are low and your body is using fat for fuel.
Testing for ketones in your urine can tell you if you’re developing a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. This condition is life threatening, so it’s important to know in advance how to detect these chemicals in your body.
The NIDDK recommends that you test ketones every 4 to 6 hours during an illness.
It’s also important to track your weight, body temperature, and blood pressure. These metrics are important clues that may tell you if:
It’s especially important for people with type 1 diabetes to test their blood glucose more often when they’re sick. Insulin levels can drop sharply as the body fights an illness or infection.
An illness can change how much insulin you need. Talk with your diabetes care team about when and how much to adjust your dosage of insulin and any other medications you take.
It’s important to keep taking insulin, especially long-acting insulin, on the schedule your doctor recommends. It’s also important to continue taking long-acting insulin even if you’re not eating.
Some over-the-counter (OTC) medications — especially those that treat cough, cold, and flu symptoms — contain sugar. Other types of medication can affect the way your diabetes medications work.
Your diabetes care team may be able to give you a list of medications to avoid when you’re feeling unwell with a common condition.
It’s a good idea to stock up on easy-to-prepare foods, sick-day drinks, medications, and diabetes care supplies so you have these items on hand for those days when you’re not feeling well. Here are some items to include in your sick-day kit:
Keep a ready supply of:
Your sick-day kit should also contain:
Make sure your kit is stocked with:
If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor or someone on your diabetes care team right away:
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a medical emergency: It can lead to coma or death. Get medical help immediately if you’re experiencing symptoms such as:
If your employer or insurer offers telehealth services, consider downloading the app or keeping contact information in your phone to make it easier to get advice if you’re not feeling well.
Diabetes can damage your immune system, according to 2020 research. For that reason, it’s important to take good care of your health year-round, not just during cold and flu season.
You can do this by:
The CDC recommends that people with diabetes get flu vaccines every year. It’s especially important for children, who may have more severe flu symptoms for a longer period of time than kids who don’t have diabetes.
Diabetes can make an ordinary illness more challenging — and feeling unwell can make it harder to manage your diabetes.
If you have diabetes, talk with your healthcare team to plan how you’ll respond to an illness or infection. Together, you can decide in advance how to manage your blood sugar when you’re feeling sick.
You can also stock up on food, beverages, testing supplies, and medication you might need.
A good sick-day plan includes information on which medications are safe to take, which to avoid, how best to test your blood sugar, and what steps to follow to keep diabetes or another health condition from sidelining you for longer than necessary.
Last medically reviewed on January 21, 2022









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Newcastle single mum of three dies suddenly after eating snack with peanuts – Daily Mail

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By Aidan Wondracz For Daily Mail Australia
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A single mother-of-three who was allergic to peanuts died suddenly after unknowingly eating a snack containing the allergen.
Hanna Scigala, 31, suffered a fatal anaphylactic attack after eating the snack at her home in Newcastle, on the NSW coast, on January 4.
Her condition spiralled quickly and she went into cardiac arrest, suffered brain swelling and was declared brain dead before passing away on January 7. 
She leaves behind a 12-year-old, nine-year-old and three-year-old boy who will now be looked after by their grandparents. 
A single mother-of-three who was allergic to peanuts died suddenly after unknowingly eating a snack containing the allergen
Hanna Scigala, 31, suffered a fatal anaphylactic attack after eating the snack at her home in Newcastle, on the NSW coast, on January 4
Her death has come as a complete shock to the family who say the single mother was always careful with the foods she ate.
Ms Scigala had been with her three children at home when she started to feel peckish and she reached for a snack. She had no idea it contained traces of peanuts.
The single mother immediately recognised the signs of an allergic reaction and rushed down the stairs and into the garage for the Epipen she kept in her car.
She administered the dose of adrenaline before calling an ambulance while her horrified nine-year-old son phoned family to come and help.
A neighbour managed to perform CPR until paramedics arrived and wheeled her into an ambulance.
Ms Scigala went into cardiac arrest on the way to hospital but paramedics were successfully able to treat her. 
But her condition continued to deteriorate the following day with the single mother suffering from brain swelling before she was declared brain dead on January 6.
Her devastated sister Stephanie as ‘inspiring’ and ‘very fun to be around’.
She leaves behind a 12-year-old, nine-year-old and three-year-old who will now be looked after by their grandparents
‘As a mum, I think her favorite thing to do was to introduce the kids to new things so they could develop new interests,’ she said.
‘Whatever she could think of or saw that she thought they might like she’d get them involved. She’d put them before anyone else.’
Stephanie has launched a GoFundMe to raise money for her children. The campaign was set up to raise $7,000, but has already drawn in $29,792 in donations. 
‘With their grandfather retired and grandmother working only part time, this go fund me has been made in hopes to help them be able to financially provide for their grandchildren,’ Stephanie wrote.
‘These funds will also go towards funeral arrangements and any other memorial type of function.’
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group

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