Wise Up About Diabetes

Diabetes, Diabetes Type 1, Diabetes Type 2, Featured Article
on November 1, 2008

How much do you really know about diabetes? Find out now (answers below).

  1. Having diabetes means:
    a) your pancreas does not produce enough insulin.
    b) your body's cells do not use insulin properly.
    c) either a or b.
  2. There are more diabetics in the U.S. than there are:
    a) teachers.
    b) single moms.
    c) a and b combined.
  3. Your risk for diabetes increases:
    a) as you age.
    b) if you're a woman.
    c) if you tend to gain weight at your hips vs. your middle.
  4. A diabetes diagnosis means
    a) you're doomed to life without cookies or ice cream.
    b) you'll have to take daily doses of insulin.
    c) you'd better start exercising.
  5. People with diabetes should avoid wearing:
    a) sunglasses.
    b) flip-flops.
    c) wool sweaters.
  6. Losing weight can cut your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by:
    a) 10 percent.
    b) 35 percent.
    c) 50 percent or more.
  7. The best anti-diabetes breakfast choice would be
    a) poached eggs.
    b) a bowl of cereal.
    c) yogurt and fruit.

How'd You Do?

  1. c. Diabetes comes in two forms (lucky us). In type 1, your pancreas does not make enough of the insulin you need to digest glucose. In type 2, your body's cells don't use insulin properly.
  2. c. Nearly 24 million Americans have diabetes, trumping the number of single moms at 10.4 million and teachers at 7.1 million. Another 57 million have pre-diabetes.
  3. a. Diabetes risk goes up with age; almost 25 percent Americans age 60-plus have the disease. But, unlike other age-related conditions like an intolerance for music over a certain decibel level, this one is not inevitable.
  4. c. You won't necessarily need insulin to control type 2 diabetes. But you will need to exercise — 20 to 30 minutes per day is ideal. Limiting sweets, starches and fried foods is also in order, but an occasional treat is probably OK (if your MD agrees).
  5. b. Flip-flops are a fashion faux pas for diabetics because of a side effect, peripheral neuropathy, which hampers your awareness of sensation in your feet and hands.
  6. c. Losing weight is easier said than done. But a mere 5 to 7 percent weight loss can slash your odds of getting diabetes by 58 percent.
  7. b. Cereal rules! In one study, those who ate about 29 grams of fiber per day in cereal, grains and bread were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who had 15 grams or less per day.