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Holiday Food Risky for People Unaware of Being Diabetic

Update Date: Dec 26, 2012 09:57 AM EST

Holidays are here and in the festive season, it is almost next to impossible to be able to stop one- self from gorging on delicacies. It is the season of joy and eating and drinking are an obvious part of celebrations. However, experts say that for people unaware that they may be suffering from type 2 diabetes, the lovely doses of drinks and food may be highly risky.

"As tempting and tasty as it might be, eating high-fat foods with excess calories, carbohydrates and salt will put people who don't know they have the disease at great risk," Dr. Dale Hamilton, an endocrinologist and diabetes specialist with the Methodist Hospital in Houston, said in a hospital news release.

"The most common cause of death from type 2 diabetes is heart disease and stroke," he noted, according to Health Day.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and people with the disease have difficulty making insulin, which is required by the body to convert food to energy.

CDC statistics suggest that about 26 million people in the United States are diabitic, and 7 million of them don't even know they have the disease.

People can identify the symptoms of the disease if they have increased thirst, frequent urination (especially at night), fatigue, blurred vision, unintended weight loss and a high blood sugar level.  Hamilton recommends it is better to find out if one has the disease due to the health risks posed by it. Other contributing factors to the risk are oldr age, obesity, family history of diabetes and a sedentary lifestyle.

"The high blood sugar weakens the immune system so a person might catch a cold that they cannot shake or develop an infection that doesn't heal," Hamilton explained. "I recommend checking your blood sugar frequently with a device that can be purchased at your local pharmacy. If you are between 126 and 200 mg/dL, you are at risk for type 2 diabetes."

Hamilton further said that you may want to limit your intake of high-carbohydrate foods, such as white bread, white rice, potatoes, and pasta, as well as cured meats such as ham and smoked turkey, which contain high levels of salt, the Health Day report said.  

"If you know you are going to eat one big meal with your family or friends, reducing the number of calories the meals before and after will help," Hamilton said. "Being aware of what you are eating will not only give you a chance at a happy holiday season, but a happy 2013 and beyond."

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