Diabetes – 5 Important Tips to Manage and Prevent It
If you’re at risk for diabetes, of course you want to discuss with your doctor the best way to manage your overall health, but it’s also good to know how to prevent this condition in the first place! Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are very serious; diabetes can lead to blindness, loss of digits including toes, and even death. However, it’s easy to overlook the warning signs, including fatigue, thirst, and constant hunger pains, as you may not associate these problems with excess glucose in the blood.
Note a few important tips for managing and preventing diabetes, and discuss these with your doctor. If you have any risk of developing this condition, you need to understand what causes diabetes, how to prevent diabetes, and how to ensure your best overall health.
1. Know the different types of diabetes
If you don’t know the difference between type 1 diabetes and type 2, note that the condition itself is exactly the same; however, type 1 diabetes refers to a person who is born with the condition or who contracts it as a child. This is why it’s often called juvenile diabetes, and persons who are at risk for this type may be able to do little to prevent it.
Type 2 diabetes develops over time and may be caused by some genetic factors, but may also be the result of poor dietary habits or being overweight, or just due to age.
The definition of this condition also doesn’t mean high blood sugar levels, as some people assume. Diabetes is when the body cannot produce adequate amounts of insulin in order to properly absorb any glucose out of the bloodstream. In turn, blood sugar builds up to dangerous levels; this can happen when a person who has this condition consumes only small amounts of sugar. Someone without diabetes may be able to consume larger amounts of sugar without experiencing any of the symptoms of the illness, simply because their body is producing insulin in order to metabolize glucose properly.
Since there often isn’t much a person can do to prevent diabetes from occurring as a juvenile, we’ll note a few tips on how to prevent type 2 diabetes. As always, discuss your risk factors with your doctor and note their recommendations as well.
2. Reducing sugar intake to prevent diabetes
As said, type 2 diabetes is not excess levels of glucose in the blood, so why reduce your sugar intake to prevent this illness? This is recommended because the more sugar you consume, the more often your pancreas will need to work to produce insulin. Over time, your pancreas may simply wear out from producing that needed insulin and it may then malfunction. You might compare this to roughly driving a car and putting more demands on the engine and other systems, which will typically cause that car to break down sooner than one that is driven carefully.
Reducing your sugar intake can then help to prevent diabetes because you’re not overworking your pancreas. Doing this can be more difficult than you realize, as sugar is in many processed foods including soup, stew, salad dressing, and condiments. To prevent diabetes, get in the habit of reading labels and note the sugar content of everything you eat.
3. Managing your weight
To prevent diabetes, be sure you’re at a healthy weight for your age and overall physical build. When you’re carrying extra pounds, your body works harder to push blood through your system, and the insulin your pancreas produces may not be able to so easily access and metabolize the glucose in the blood. Fatty tissue can also build up in the blood and around the pancreas so that it doesn’t work as effectively, and you increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Regular exercise can mean increasing your blood circulation so that insulin can better reach all areas of the blood. In turn, it can better metabolize the glucose in your system. More blood also means nourishing the pancreas so it can repair and restore itself and function effectively over time.
Exercise will also help to keep your weight down, which can also help prevent diabetes, as mentioned above. Strenuous exercise is good for those who are at risk for this condition, but even a brisk walk or bike ride on a regular basis can help control your diabetes risk factors.
5. Eating to feed your organs
The pancreas is an organ and it needs to be fed and nourished just like all other organs. Eating foods that are not very nutritious will do nothing to keep this organ strong and help prevent diabetes, so consider the foods that have all the vitamins, trace minerals, and amino acids needed for good health. This would include dark leafy greens and other vegetables, fresh fruits, and lean protein choices like fish and soy products.
Your body also needs a small amount of fat to absorb vitamins and minerals, so include olive oil and avocado oil as part of your diet as well. These foods won’t cure diabetes and especially not the uncontrolled one, but they can help to keep your pancreas as healthy as possible. In turn, you can then prevent diabetes from developing and also better manage your weight when these foods are the main staples of your diet.
Bonus tip: Avoid the myths
Your doctor is always going to be the best source of information about how to prevent diabetes, but be sure you don’t believe myths about this condition and what causes it. For example, some believe that there is a connection between coffee and diabetes; caffeine may increase your heart rate and do some eventual damage to your circulatory system, but otherwise, it usually has no connection to thitse illness elf. Also, don’t assume that you’re not at risk for developing type 2 diabetes if no one in your family has it, as genetics are not the only factor to consider. Always watch your diet and keep your weight under control, and visit your doctor regularly, no matter your family history with this condition.