Can Diabetes Be Prevented?
Over 29 million people in the U.S. today have diabetes, and over eight million of those individuals are likely unaware that they suffer from the condition. In particular, type 2 diabetes is quickly becoming a very serious epidemic whose consequences can affect a person’s eyesight, organs, limbs and, yes – their lifespan. Unfortunately, despite the severity of diabetes and the dire effects incurred by a lack of diagnosis, many people will continue with their current lifestyle, unaware that the condition can be prevented.
Type 2 diabetes prevention is actually very straightforward. With simple lifestyle changes, you can take control of your health and decrease your risk factors for diabetes. If you think you are at risk for type 2 diabetes, Pacific Family Practice strongly recommends that you reach out to your provider directly in order to discuss your risk factors and whether diabetes testing is required.
If you are at risk for diabetes or perhaps have a family history of diabetes, here are some ways you can prevent type 2 diabetes.
Increasing your level of physical activity and losing weight is a substantial step toward diabetes prevention. Studies have shown that losing 5%-7% of your body weight with about half an hour of exercise five days a week can possibly prevent the disease.
Watch your blood sugar
If you are prediabetic, your doctor will likely recommend that you make changes to your diet. Certain foods can actually spike a person’s blood sugar levels, including whole milk, white rice, white bread, red meat, sugary drinks (such as sodas) and fast food products. These foods should be avoided and replaced with healthy alternatives that will lower blood sugar levels.
Talk to your doctor - today
One of the best steps you can take on the road to diabetes prevention is to reach out to your provider and discuss your risk factors and whether or not a lifestyle evaluation is needed. If you are overweight, have high blood pressure, have high cholesterol, are inactive, or have an immediate family member who is diabetic, then you are at higher risk for the disease. Certain ethnic groups are also considered high risk for diabetes, including those of African-American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage.