Type 2 diabetes is a serious and debilitating condition that affects the way the body manages blood glucose. It normally arises when the pancreas does not produce sufficient insulin or when the body fails to efficiently use the insulin produced.
Also known as hyperglycemia, Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and affects both adults and children. Although there are no definite causes of type 2 diabetes, it has been linked genes, obesity and lifestyle factors. The good news is that I a certain way, type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed through lifestyle changes.
What is Prediabetes?
Also referred to as impaired glucose tolerance, prediabetes is a condition in which the body’s blood glucose is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. People with prediabetes often have symptoms of diabetes but may have not yet developed full-blown diabetes. If you have prediabetes, it means that you are at a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes within a decade.
However, the good news is that with lifestyle changes and eating habits, this form of diabetes can be prevented or delayed even if you have already been diagnosed with prediabetes. Below are some of the healthy lifestyle changes that can help prevent Type 2 diabetes.
Visit your doctor for a health check up
It is very important to go for diabetes screening because it is the first step towards prevention. If you know you have prediabetes, you can then be able to make some lifestyle changes, manage your health better, and hopefully reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
Even if you have not been diagnosed with prediabetes, it is important to maintain regular health checkups because it enables you to take control of your health.
Manage your weight
Type 2 diabetes has been linked to obesity. Studies have shown that people who are overweight and have excess fat stored especially around the waist are at a higher risk of developing diabetes. It is important to take control of your weight and try to maintain a healthy Body Mass Index as this will reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
Obesity is also one of the leading causes of Type 2 diabetes in children and teenagers. Parents should therefore adopt healthy eating habits and encourage their children to eat healthy and indulge in more physical activities.
Regular physical exercise is very important. It can help reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and a whole lot of other diseases including high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome. This is essential if you are overweight or have been diagnosed with prediabetes.
Studies have shown that people who exercise regularly are at a lower risk of developing type 2 Diabetes.
Being more active in general keeps you healthy. So instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs a few times a week and avoid sitting around on the sofa. Instead, do more housework or gardening to lower your risk of getting diabetes.
Adopt healthy eating habits
Eating a well-balanced diet with more fruit, vegetables and whole foods with high fiber and fewer fats can go a long way in preventing Type 2 diabetes. It is also important to avoid eating fast-food and processed food because they often have a high fat content and a lot of salt.
It is also advisable to avoid taking soda or other sugary beverages. Instead, you can take more water, tea or coffee with very little sugar as it is healthier and therefore much better for you.
Studies have shown that people who smoke are up to twice more at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes compared to non-smokers. Although it can be hard to quit smoking, it is one of those things you are in control of, that can significantly lower your risk of developing this form of diabetes.
Reduce your alcohol intake
Alcohol should be taken in moderation. Although alcohol in moderate quantities may increase insulin efficiency, too much of it can lead to weight gain and could increase your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
Non-drinkers however have nothing to lose as they can still get the same benefits by losing weight, regular exercise, being more active and eating right.