Did you know that diabetes has been called “the silent killer?” It’s true. Diabetes often goes undetected until it’s too late. While you may notice the signs of diabetes, such as frequent urination or thirst, you may not know you’re at risk until you begin to experience complications from the disease. In fact, diabetes is one of the most common causes of death in the United States—and it can kill quickly if it’s not managed correctly. The good news is that diabetes is preventable, and we’re here to help you prevent it.
So, here’s what you need to know about diabetes and how to prevent it.
What Is Diabetes?
If you’re wondering how you can prevent diabetes, it’s important to understand what it is. Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body processes blood sugar. When you have diabetes, your body does not produce enough insulin, or your cells do not react to insulin as they should, causing glucose to build up in the blood instead of being used for energy. This buildup of glucose in your blood can cause serious health problems if not properly managed.
Diabetes is an incredibly common disease affecting millions of people. But who’s at risk?
The answer is anyone! Diabetes can affect all age groups, genders, and ethnicities. And while it may seem like it only affects the overweight or obese, that’s not true either. Many people who are thin or average weight can still develop the disease if they have a genetic predisposition to the disease.
So, what are the common risk factors for diabetes?
The older you get, the more likely you are to develop diabetes. People over the age of 65 are twice as likely to have diabetes than younger adults.
Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Those who are overweight have around twice the risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those who maintain a healthy weight. Those who are obese have three times the risk.
If you have a family history of diabetes, you’re more likely to develop it yourself. Having one parent with type 1 or gestational diabetes raises your risk by 20%, while having both parents with type 2 diabetes increases it by 60%.
There are many symptoms of diabetes that can help you identify the disease early on and prevent complications from occurring.
The following are some of the most common signs and symptoms associated with the disease:
The first sign of diabetes is increased thirst. You’ll need to drink more liquids than usual to compensate for the fluid your body loses through urination and sweat. This can lead to frequent urination and dehydration, making you feel tired and lethargic.
Other symptoms include blurred vision, feeling numb or tingling hands or feet, sudden weight loss, and extreme hunger.
If you’re concerned that you may be at risk for diabetes, it’s important to see your doctor as soon as possible so they can get started on treatment right away!
Habits That Trigger Diabetes
You may be surprised to learn that some habits could trigger diabetes. You might think, “But I eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly!” But even so, there may be things you do that could be causing your body to develop the disease.
In another article, we had an in-depth look at some of the habits that can trigger diabetes. These habits include alcohol consumption, eating processed foods, smoking, and lack of sleep.
It’s important to note that you don’t have to be overweight or obese to develop diabetes. Even if you’re at a healthy weight, you still do things that could trigger the disease. So, to avoid the disease, it’s important to pay attention to your lifestyle habits.
Diabetes is a serious disease that can be prevented with some simple precautions and lifestyle changes. These five tips will help you start on the path to lowering your risk of diabetes:
Diabetes is often associated with poor eating habits. The foods you eat impact your blood sugar levels and insulin response. For instance, eating too many processed foods can cause a spike in blood sugar levels. This is because processed foods contain a lot of sugar and unhealthy fats.
On the other hand, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products can help keep your blood sugar levels stable. These food items can help balance out your diet.
Whole grains contain more fiber than processed grains and help you feel full longer, so you don’t overeat later on in the day. Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that help keep your body functioning well.
If you want to prevent diabetes, start by getting active! Exercise is one of the best ways to keep your blood sugar levels from rising too high. It can also help with weight loss and blood pressure issues, both of which are major risk factors for diabetes.
You don’t have to be a gym rat or marathon runner—just do something that gets your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes every day. If you can’t find the time, then make some time! Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park farther away from where you’re going, so you have to walk a bit more, or take the dog for an extra-long walk around the block. What matters is that you’re active.
Drink Plenty Of Water
One of the most important precautions you can take to prevent the disease is drinking plenty of water. Water helps to flush out toxins from your body, which helps to keep your insulin levels in check and prevent hyperglycemia.
If you don’t normally drink a lot of water, it’s time to start! You should drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily. If that seems like a lot, try starting small—maybe just 10 ounces a day at first. Then slowly increase until you’re achieving your goal.
Boost Your Vitamin D Levels
We all know that vitamin D is essential, but did you know that it can help prevent diabetes? In fact, studies have shown that people with higher levels of vitamin D have lower rates of diabetes.
So how do you boost your vitamin D levels? Well, the easiest way is to get some sun exposure every day! Just 10 minutes outside during the early morning sun without sunscreen will do the trick! However, if that’s not possible for whatever reason, supplements can also help.
Consult Your Healthcare Provider
Before you begin any of the precautions listed in this article, it’s important to remember that these steps are not a replacement for a proper diagnosis by a healthcare professional. If you have symptoms related to the disease, please consult your doctor or healthcare provider.
They can test your blood sugar levels and help you decide whether you should start taking medications to lower them. They’ll also let you know if you should do any specific things to reduce the chances of developing diabetes.
How We Can Help You Prevent Diabetes
Diabetes can cause serious problems with your health, but it’s also manageable. If you catch it early and work with your doctor, you can keep yourself healthy and active for decades to come.
When it comes to diabetes, you have a lot of power. You can take steps right now to help you avoid diabetes and keep your blood sugar levels under control if you already have it. You can make a difference in your own health, and that’s something we can help you with.
And we’re here to help! Our approach is holistic: we will baseline your current numbers so that we have a set of data to work towards managing and improving. Next, we take a deep look at your current symptoms and situation, as well as any other factors that may be contributing to an unhealthy lifestyle. Then we work on creating a plan which can include everything from a balanced diet and exercise to medication (in some cases).
Our goal is to improve your quality of life, and we will work with you to make sure that happens. You can expect personalized care from a team that understands what it’s like to live with diabetes and who sees the person behind the numbers.