Diabetes is a life-long and a chronic disease which is associated with the way your body handles the glucose (sugar) in your blood. It affects millions of people around the globe.
In fact, according to some statistics, 86 million people in the United States have prediabetes, a condition in which the blood sugar is high but not high enough to be considered diabetes. Eventually, 70% of people with prediabetes develop it into type 2 diabetes and it isn’t inevitable or not something to be proud of.
On the other hand, 27 million people have type 2 diabetes.
Understanding the cause of diabetes starts with the pancreas. The pancreas produces insulin—a hormone responsible for turning the sugar from the food you eat into energy. However, insulin is in such a disorder with patients having a type 2 diabetes. Health experts called it insulin resistance. It happens when the insulin made by the pancreas cannot keep up in converting glucose to energy, and so glucose starts to collect in the blood instead.
The Importance of Preventing Diabetes
You may ask what is the importance of preventing diabetes? There are various complications which diabetes can lead to if the high level of blood sugar isn’t manage, which includes:
- Skin and mouth disorder
- Heart problem
- Kidney failure
- Nerves damage
- Higher risk for bone and joint conditions, including osteoporosis
Fortunately, type 2 diabetes is avoidable. Watching out for the diabetes symptoms, which include frequent urination, weight loss, thirst, persistent fatigue, and blurred vision, can prepare you to make a lifestyle change in developing it in a more serious case.
Moreover, the short-term complications of diabetes (e.g. hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia) can lead to seizures, even coma.
Diabetes Risk Factors
The key to preventing diabetes is to learn its risk factors which include:
- Genes – diabetes can be inherited
- Age – which is being more than 45 years old
- Obesity or overweight
- Low level of HDL cholesterol, which are good cholesterol
- Weak glucose tolerance
- Excess fats, most especially around the waist
Aside from family history and age, which both cannot be controlled, other risk factors of diabetes can be prevented through lifestyle change and other multiple approaches.
Tips for a Free-Diabetes Living
There are natural remedies for diabetes, such as vitamins, minerals, and herbs, that show promise in reducing your risk of diabetes. Take a look at the following:
- Vitamin D – A data reported that taking vitamin D over 800 IU, plus calcium over 1200 mg a day can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes by 33%. It is a bit of challenge to boost vitamin D through the sunlight and the food that you eat, so health professionals advise a daily intake of vitamin D supplements. Talk to your doctor first before trying any supplements.
- Tea – Researchers have been found that drinking four cups of tea a day can help reduce the risk of diabetes. Some pointed out that green tea helps in preventing it, while black tea can assist in managing diabetes.
- Cinnamon – Cinnamon has the qualities to reduce diabetes and heart problem risk factors. This is based on a 2009 published study. The study involved 22 participants who have impaired glucose tolerance, that is their blood glucose is fast. The participants were given daily cinnamon supplementation for about 12 weeks and the above conclusions were found.
Certain strategies can also manage your type 2 diabetes. This includes having an exercise for at least 30 minutes a day as well as eating healthy and balanced food such as whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and healthy fats. Through these simple tips, you can monitor your weight as well as your blood pressure and cholesterol level. Maintaining and keeping them on a healthy level is important for diabetes treatment and prevention.
To further understand, here are some more explanations:
Through exercise, the cells in the body are turning more sensitive to insulin. In other words, when you work out, lesser insulin is obligated to maintain your blood sugar levels. Based on a study, a moderate level of working out can improve insulin sensitivity by 51%, while a high-intensity training can improve it by 85%. However, these results are based on the days where the participants are doing exercise. Nevertheless, working out is linked with the improvements in the insulin level. Thus, if you decide to work out, choose an exercise that you enjoy most and you know that you will stick with for a long-term basis. Choices available for you are high-intensity interval exercises, aerobic exercises, strength training, and many others.
Eat a healthy and balanced diet
Avoiding processed foods and following a plant-based and low carb diet includes in eating a balanced diet. Processes food, for instance, is associated with different health issues such as heart disease and obesity. If you are familiar with the ketonic (or very-low-carb) diet, it helps assist in losing weight which is one factor of developing diabetes. Not all diagnosed patients of diabetes are overweight, but most of them are. They also tend to carry visceral fats which are fats in the midsection, suffocating the abdominal organs such as the liver. The diet also increases insulin sensitivity, decrease bot insulin level and blood sugar, and decrease other risk factors of diabetes.
Turn your diet refined carbs and sugar-free
Health professionals recommend to omit sugary food and beverages from your diet. Replace your sweet beverages with plain water. This is because refined carbs and sugar affect your blood sugar. Once sugary food (or beverage) and refined carbs enter the body, the body rapidly breaks it into smaller sugar molecules which are absorbed into the bloodstream. This alert the pancreas to produce more insulin because there is an instant rise in blood glucose. But as we’ve mentioned above, people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, have malfunctioning insulin. In other words, the body’s cells are resistant to insulin’s action, so sugar remains high in the blood.
Nevertheless, even if patients are advised to make water their primary beverage, tea or coffee are still recommended for them to drink, as these beverages are believed to have control over blood sugar levels.