Diabetes remains a big challenge for people living in New Jersey.
According to The Healthy People 2020 initiative from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, uncontrolled diabetes is the 8th leading cause of death in New Jersey. One in 10 people in the state have been diagnosed with the disease as of this year, and 36% are believed to have pre-diabetes — many undiagnosed.
Ginine Cilenti, executive director of The Diabetes Foundation, said that number has grown by about 40,000 people per year in the state.
Some symptoms of diabetes include excessive thirst and hunger, frequent urination, rapid and unwanted weight loss, fatigue, numbness and tingling in the fingers and toes.
Treatments depend on the type of diabetes a person may have, Cilenti said. Individuals with Type 1 diabetes must always take insulin, but those with Type 2 diabetes may not need to.
But priorities that exist across all types of diabetes are managing stress, exercising and keeping good, nutritional diets. Cilenti said all of those things are important when managing blood sugar.
Obesity, low activity and genetics are all risk factors for diabetes. So Cilenti said people need to stay active. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people work out about 150 minutes a week. That’s about 30 minutes, five days a week.
The CDC also recommends a diet with a proper balance of proteins and carbohydrates. Drink a lot of water. Understand your lifestyle and make the necessary changes to ensure that you’re doing everything you can to keep your blood sugar in balance and to stay healthy, said Cilenti.
People with diabetes are not necessarily at higher risk of contracting the novel coronavirus, but they are at a higher risk of complications from it. So Cilenti said it’s vital to wear masks, sanitize hands and stand six feet away from one another.