ANN ARBOR — The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan is recognizing Men’s Health Month and National Men’s Health Week by educating men about preventing and controlling diabetes, which is the leading cause of kidney failure. National Men’s Health Week runs from June 9-15.
Approximately 13 million men have diabetes in the United States. Men with diabetes and their families can face devastating complications from unmanaged diabetes, especially since people with diabetes are at a high risk for heart attack and stroke. In addition to causing kidney failure, diabetes can also lead to blindness, loss of a toe or foot, and erectile dysfunction. Taking care of diabetes and general health can help avoid long-term health problems and enjoy a long and healthy life.
Men with diabetes can reduce their chances of having life-threatening complications by managing what is referred to as the ABCs of Diabetes.
- “A” is for the A1C test, which shows blood glucose levels over the last three months. The A1C goal for many people is below 7. High blood glucose levels can harm the heart and blood vessels, kidneys, feet, and eyes.
- “B” is for blood pressure. The goal for most people with diabetes is 130/80. High blood pressure can put strain on the heart, and can cause heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.
- “C” is for Cholesterol. Bad cholesterol (LDL) builds up and clogs arteries. The LDL goal for most people with diabetes is below 100. Good cholesterol (HDL) helps remove cholesterol from the blood vessels. The HDL goal for most people is above 40.
For those both currently living with diabetes and those at risk, it’s important to maintain healthy nutrition and to include physical activity in your daily routine. By making these healthy lifestyle choices part of your life, you can help to prevent type 2 diabetes, and also help to manage diabetes if you have already been diagnosed. Men are encouraged to quit smoking, as it increases chances of having type 2 diabetes and makes diabetes harder to control.
For more information, contact the NKFM at nkfm.org or 800-482-1455.