Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck were a pretty scary duo in "Double Indemnity," but the carnage those conniving killers dished out is child's play compared with the double dose of diabetes currently playing across North America. Today, more than 25 million Americans are living with diabetes; 79 million more have prediabetes. Thirty percent of them will develop Type 2 within five years - and that'll double the number of people with full-blown Type 2 by around 2020.
The potential health crisis is huge: Type 2 diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, blindness and amputations. People with diabetes are two to four times as likely to die from stroke and heart failure as adults without diabetes. And it costs our health care system more than $245 billion annually. But Type 2 diabetes is almost entirely preventable.
Where do you start? By reversing prediabetes.
"Prediabetes" means your glucose levels are somewhat higher than normal, and that raises your risk for heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and kidney, nerve and eye damage. The smart double bill: Adjust your diet to maintain near normal glucose levels (go to sharecare.com for meal-plan suggestions); start an activity plan to reach your goal of walking 10,000 steps a day; reduce stress with meditation; and get seven to eight hours of sleep nightly. Also: Take your oral diabetes meds, if prescribed, and have your A1c tested at least twice a year.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.