Knowing Your Body Mass Index Can Help You Fight Diabetes

This is how staggering the rise of obesity has become: according to the Surgeon General’s office, the number of obese or overweight adults in this country is 50% higher than it was just a decade ago. Recent studies have projected that 1/3 of the children born in 2000 will develop Type 2 Diabetes, which was once commonly referred to as adult-onset diabetes and is primarily driven by excessive weight. And perhaps most unsettling of all: over the last ten years the number of deaths directly related to obesity-inspired diseased has increased by 33%.

Obesity contributes to diabetes, heart disease, and strokes. Diabetes leads to an increased risk of heart disease, blindness, limb amputation, and kidney problems. The close relationship between excessive weight and diabetes is undeniable. Which is why it’s so important for those who are either pre-diabetes or have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes to monitor their body mass index.

What is your body mass index (BMI)? It’s an easily calculated number which tells you the percentage of your of body weight that consists of fat. Although this number is not 100% on-the-money perfect, especially when the calculation is based solely on height and weight, it’s a good ball park figure. Certainly good enough to use as a guide if you’re trying to lose weight. Other factors that are normally taken into consideration are sex and age.

The most accurate way to determine your body mass index is by working with your doctor. Not only can he offer you some additional insights into the meaning of the number, he can advise you on how best to start losing weight.

However, if you’d like to get a quick peek at where you fall in the BMI scale, fill in your height and weight in the laborom application and keep track of changes in your body.

weight diary card
weight diary card
weight trends
weight trends

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After you’ve determined your BMI number, you’ll want to know what it means. As a rough guideline for adults a BMI of less than 20 implies underweight, over 25 is overweight, and over 30 is obese. I’m in slightly in the overweight category with 25.99 being my last BMI, but I’m gradually loosing weight by trying to eat healthy and going for short runs every couple of days. For a more specific idea of where you fall in the index, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute provides a complete Body Mass Index Table for your convenience. You can find it here.

The bottom line: if you’re overweight, you’re in danger of developing diabetes. This dreadful disease is nearly silent, yet it can cause kidney failure, heart damage, strokes, even the loss of limbs to amputation. This is why it’s so important to keep a close eye on your weight and particularly your body mass index.

Is There Self Test For Diabetes?

Sixteen million Americans have diabetes, yet many are not aware of it. African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans have a higher rate of developing diabetes during their lifetime. Diabetes has potential long term complications that can affect the kidneys, eyes, heart, blood vessels and nerves. You can see how it is important to see how to test for diabetes

In diagnosing diabetes, physicians primarily depend upon the results of specific glucose tests. However, test results are just part of the information that goes into the diagnosis of diabetes. Doctors also take into account your physical exam, presence or absence of symptoms, and medical history. Some people who are significantly ill will have transient problems with elevated blood sugars which will then return to normal after the illness has resolved. Also, some medications may alter your blood glucose levels (most commonly steroids and certain diuretics (water pills)).

The TWO main tests used to measure the presence of blood sugar problems are:

1. Direct measurement of glucose levels in the blood during an overnight fast
2. Measurement of the body’s ability to appropriately handle the excess sugar presented after drinking a high glucose drink.

Self Testing Methods
Regular self-testing of your blood sugar tells you how well your combination of diet, exercise, and medication are working. Tests are usually done before meals and at bedtime. More frequent testing may be needed when you are sick or under stress.

A device called a Glucometer can provide an exact blood sugar reading. There are different types of devices. Usually, you prick your finger with a small needle called a lancet, which gives you a tiny drop of blood. You place the blood on a test strip, and put the strip into the device. Results are available within 30 to 45 seconds.

A health care provider or diabetes educator will help set up an appropriate testing schedule for you. You will also be taught how to respond to different ranges of glucose values obtained when you self-test.

The results of the test can be used to adjust meals, activity, or medications to keep blood sugar levels in an appropriate range. Testing provides valuable information for the health care provider and identifies high and low blood sugar levels before serious problems develop. Accurate record keeping of test results will help you and your health care provider plan how to best control your diabetes. There are 20.8 million children and adults in the US with diabetes, and nearly one-third of them (or 6.2 million people) do not know it!