Vascular wellness is a very real concern for persons with diabetes. Many Americans are unaware they have type 2 diabetes. For this reason, Diabetes Alert Day on Tuesday, March 22 provides a valuable “wake-up call” for America.
“It is critical for patients to be diagnosed early so their diabetes may be effectively treated, and therefore reducing the likelihood of complications,” said Spencer Galt, MD, a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery®. “Hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis is a well-known complication of diabetes. This condition may cause vascular blockages resulting in stroke, heart attack, and amputation.”
Dr. Galt has seen many cases of diabetic vascular disease. He therefore suggests that persons who are at risk of diabetes have a blood sugar (glucose) test every three years. Those at risk factors for diabetes include:
- more than 45 years of age
- a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes
- gestational diabetes or delivery of a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
- heart disease
- high cholesterol
- too little exercise
- polycystic ovary disease (in women)
- impaired glucose tolerance
- African American, Native American, Asian, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic American.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 25.8 million Americans are living with diabetes and another 79 million are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Often, patients are diagnosed with diabetes seven to 10 years after the onset of the disease according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
Through lifestyle changes it is possible to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. These changes include:
- a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, lean meats, non-fat dairy products, and the use of canola, corn, olive, or safflower cooking oils
- at least 30 minutes of exercise daily
- a five to 10 percent body weight loss which will reduce the risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent according to the ADA.
For information on diabetes and vascular health, visit VascularWeb.org®.
About the Society for Vascular Surgery
The Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS) is a not-for-profit professional medical society, composed primarily of vascular surgeons, that seeks to advance excellence and innovation in vascular health through education, advocacy, research, and public awareness. SVS is the national advocate for 3,370 specialty-trained vascular surgeons and other medical professionals who are dedicated to the prevention and cure of vascular disease. Visit its Web site at VascularWeb.org®. Follow SVS on Twitter and Facebook.