I just finished reading a research study that stated that women with diabetes have a 40% to 50% higher risk of developing coronary artery disease than their male counterparts. This information is significant, and validates the need for women to work closely with their healthcare providers to reduce risk. The study mentioned that men and women are both struggling with heart disease, but women are not getting their diabetes treated early enough, and are being seen by physicians later in the process, and therefore, farther along with the risk of heart disease.
I see a few takeaways from this study that are important to mention here
1) Cardiovascular disease is still the #1 killer of women in America (breast cancer is #2). Women need to take care of themselves throughout their lifetime, and that includes reducing their risk of chronic disease.
2) Healthy weight--- women tend to be diagnosed with diabetes at a heavier weight, and are having more complications from this fact. Ladies--- weight loss CAN be achieved gradually and can be done with the help of a registered dietitian
3) Physical activity-- we know that exercise reduces insulin resistance, which can improve blood glucose levels significantly. Start by walking just a few steps each day, and GRADUALLY.. and I mean GRADUALLY.. work your way up to 10,000 steps, or 5 miles per day. Your heart, waistline and blood sugar, will thank you.
4) Stress--- I know, I know... trying to ask women to manage stress is like trying to hold back a waterfall with a teacup.. but... stress really plays havoc on your body..... in SOOO many ways.... Try deep breathing, meditating, and relaxing music... all of these can help...
5) Sleep--Research has shown a negative relationship with sleep deprivation in women and diabetes... Researchers at Case Western Reserve University found that women that sleep less than 5 hours per night have a 60% greater chance of developing diabetes...... Sleep deprivation messes with cortisol, leptin and ghrelin levels, all of which impact blood sugar levels as well.
Ladies... this holiday weekend... provide some good old self care that I mentioned above, and give your heart a break:)
Happy Memorial Day, and God bless all of those who serve, and have served our country for our freedom... Amy