Are you at risk for type 2 diabetes? Would you be surprised to learn that nearly a quarter of the American population is at risk for this type of diabetes and most have no idea?
Thankfully, in most cases, diabetes is not something you have to accept as inevitable with as there are some steps you can take to prevent the illness in the first place. This is an extremely important topic of discussion because currently there is no cure for the disease once you get it.
In order to prevent the disease you must first understand how you get it, after all it is not contagious. Today 24 million Americans have diabetes and in as little as two decades that number will practically double, and obesity appears to be the most common denominator. However, this is a somewhat simplistic view of the disease.
- Heredity factor- if both parents have type 1 diabetes you have less than 50% chance of contracting the disease, ditto for an identical twin.
- Infections and Illness- some infections and illnesses have been linked to type 1 diabetes including German measles in infancy and Coxsackie B at any stage.
Type one diabetes usually presents before age 30 and often in childhood. To date there is no preventative or cure, but the disease can be managed. Type one only accounts for about 10% of diabetes diagnosis in the US and Europe.
It is important to understand that type two diabetes is caused by a combination of lifestyle and genetic factors.
You will have control over one aspect, but of course not the other. Factors you cannot control include aging, female gender and genetic makeup. Nevertheless, you can control the lifestyle causes which include:
- Obesity- a body mass index over 30
- Stress- high stress levels can impact many aspects of your health
- Sleep- lack of sleep can negatively impact your metabolism, which is the believed link to diabetes
- Fats- dietary fats linked to diabetes include trans-fatty and saturated fats
- Sugar- consuming sugary soft drinks in excess has been linked to diabetes type two
- Exercise- lack of exercise impacts your metabolism, weight and overall fitness leaving you vulnerable to developing the disease.
As you can see preventing type two diabetes is somewhat of a mixed bag. Since your risk factors include your genetic makeup, gender and age there is the possibility that you will do everything right and still get the disease. However, medical professionals agree that proper preventative measures can significantly delay onset and severity along with the possibility that you will prevent the disease altogether. In other words, when it comes to type two diabetes your best course of action is to incorporate preventative measures!
Here are a few steps you can take to day:
- Act now! Schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine if you have pre-diabetes. This will tell you how radical and quickly you need to move on making lifestyle changes. There are also prescription medications you can take to delay or prevent full onset.
- Exercise- there are so many reasons you should get your body moving, type two diabetes prevention is only one! Exercise will increase your metabolism, burn fat and even relieve stress all of which are a part of preventing diabetes.
- Diet- contrary to popular belief you do not have to go on a strict diabetic diet to prevent this disease. Merely balancing your diet will go a long way. Eat more green leafy vegetables, less carbohydrates and begin phasing out soft drinks altogether.
- Doctor- return regularly for checkups and re-testing for pre-diabetes.