Preventing diabetes | Dr. Petter

Unfortunately diabetes has become a very common medical condition in the United States. Based on 2011 statistics, 25.8 million adults and children have diabetes. In addition, 79 million people are considered pre-diabetic.

Symptoms of diabetes may consist of fatigue, excessive thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, frequent infection and poor wound healing and women may experience frequent vaginal yeast infections.

The longer you have diabetes or the more poorly controlled your diabetes, the more you are at risk for developing further serious medical conditions. Complications may include compromised kidney function, heart disease, blindness, poor circulation and nerve damage which can lead to amputation. In addition, those with diabetes are more likely to develop osteoporosis, hearing problems, and Alzheimer's disease

How to prevent diabetes:

1. See your doctor yearly for a physical examination, including fasting blood work to screen for diabetes (normal blood sugar is less than 100).

2. Maintain your ideal weight.

3. Exercise for 30 minutes (aerobic activity), five to seven days a week.

4. Eat a healthy diet.

5. Cautions with carbohydrates (starches): the average healthy adult needs 180 to 230 grams daily (i.e., rice, pasta, bread, potatoes).

6. Consider taking cinnamon: 1/4th teaspoon twice a day may lower blood sugar.

7. Consider taking vinegar: four teaspoons of white vinegar daily can lower blood sugar by 30 percent.

Dr. Linda Petter of Auburn is a weekly feature on KOMO TV/Newsradio (1000 AM & 97.7 FM) every Saturday and Sunday at 7:45 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. She trained at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Illinois, Carle Hospital. Petter is chief of the Department of Family Practice at St. Francis Hospital. She is a consumer healthcare advocate and author of two books ("Healthcare On a Budget" and "Common Medical Sense"). Visit her website,, or call her office at 253-568-0841.

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