Joyce's first symptom of heart failure hit hard and suddenly. "I woke up one morning and couldn't breathe," she says. "I was real shaky, and I couldn't lie down at all. "Joyce, 83, went to the hospital and was diagnosed with heart failure. Then 3 days later, a pacemaker was placed in her chest.
Maggie lost some weight a few years ago. But like many people who go on diets, she couldn't keep the pounds off. She didn't eat enough food, so she was hungry. And she denied herself the food she really loved, like pizza. Then she changed the way she looked at food and what it meant to be healthier. She lost 50 pounds and is now at her goal weight. Along the way, she lowered her blood pressure and blood sugar, and her asthma symptoms went away.
When Joe turned 60 last year, he decided he was overdue for a good, old-fashioned physical. He had always been blessed with good health, but he knew that at his age he should be having regular checkups, especially since he was overweight.
Jerry has a message for everyone who is diagnosed with prediabetes. "Take it seriously," he says. "Of all the chronic diseases you can have, this one is really influenced by the choices you make." That wasn't how Jerry felt when he first learned he had prediabetes. His doctor told him to lose weight and get more exercise or else run the risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Jerry was angry and frustrated. "I thought, 'What's the point? I might still get diabetes,'" Jerry says. "I felt like I was stuck either way." He also didn't see how he could fit exercise into his day. Four days a week he works 12-hour shifts as an engineer at a computer company. The other days he catches up on household chores and yard work.
Jerry, 32, works in customer service at a call center. So he's hunched over a computer for most of his work day. "I love my job, but it can be stressful. I hold my stress in my shoulders and neck. My shoulders are always up around my ears. A lot of times, I leave at the end of the day with a big headache."
Jeremy grew up being active and involved in sports. But he never gave healthy eating too much thought until he found himself gaining weight several years after college. In November 2006, Jeremy hit a turning point when he found that he was too out of shape to play in a company football game. He decided to change his eating habits.
Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Many experts believe this damage is a factor in the development of blood vessel disease (atherosclerosis), cancer, and other conditions.
Stretching will help you as you become more active. It may help prevent injury and reduce muscle soreness and cramping. It will also help you with everyday tasks, such as tasks where you need to reach for things or bend over.
Physical activity increases the amount of energy (calories) you burn. Most weight-loss programs incorporate an exercise program such as jogging or biking. And you can also use more energy by changing some of your routine activities, such as washing your car yourself instead of going to a car wash. Choosing social activities that increase activity, such as joining a gardening club or dancing, also increases the calories you burn.
Children as young as preschool age benefit from exercise and fitness as much as adults do. Experts recommend that teens and children (starting at age 6) do moderate to vigorous activity at least 1 hour every day.footnote
It's never too late to start getting active. Being fit is important for everyone. You can benefit from physical activity even if you think of yourself as "elderly" or you already have conditions such as arthritis or heart disease. Being more active will help you feel better and may even help you live longer.
Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are the most common types of inflammatory bowel disease. Ulcerative colitis affects only the colon and rectum. Crohn's can affect any part of the digestive tract. To learn more about Crohn's disease, see the topic Crohn's Disease.
Many things work together to cause foot problems in people who have diabetes, especially poor circulation and nerve disease (neuropathy). Neuropathy significantly dulls awareness of your feet, making you more susceptible to extensive injury-related damage. Also, diabetes can impair your ability to heal by both damaging your immune system and decreasing the blood flow in your legs.
The high blood sugar from diabetes affects the nerves and over time increases a person's risk for nerve damage. Keeping blood sugar levels within the target range recommended by your doctor helps prevent diabetic neuropathy.
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