Originally Published: October 15, 2011 9:59 p.m.
Did you know that persons with serious behavioral health diagnoses are twice as likely to get diabetes? According to information available on the Arizona Department of Health Services website, anyone with prediabetes also has more chances of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. In general, your risk for diabetes increases as you:
Have little or no physical activity daily;
Reach age 45 and older.
The risk also increases if you:
Are a smoker;
Have a family history of diabetes;
Are Native American, Latino or African American;
Have a diagnosis of depression, anxiety, bipolar or schizophrenia.
Diabetes means the blood sugar level in the body is too high and the body cannot control it. You can have it for years and not know it until damage is caused to your organs and blood vessels. Some symptoms of diabetes include too much thirst, weight changes, fatigue, or urinating too often.
Prediabetes means that blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. If you detect prediabetes, you can take steps to delay getting diabetes.
You can do your part to prevent diabetes, and that starts with increasing your level of physical activity. Only 30 minutes of physical activity each day can change your life. Also, eat small, low-fat meals that include fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy.
If taking medications that cause you to gain weight:
Talk to your doctor to discuss your diet and medication options.
Drink more water (avoid soda or alcohol).
If you frequently feel sad or isolated:
Talk to others - you are not alone!
Get involved in projects you like - try activities that get you moving!
Recognize the power you have to make little changes each day to live healthy. For more information, go to http://www.azdhs.gov/bhs/qhi.