Diabetes is a chronic disease that threatens millions of people worldwide. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases reports that more than 2 million Canadians have diabetes and 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. The report also shows that unhealthy eating and physical inactivity play a big role in acquiring the disease. In fact, only 10% of these diabetes cases fall in the Type 1 category and 90% are diagnosed as Type 2 Diabetes.
In a related study, the American Diabetes Association reports that in the United States, nearly 21 million people have diabetes and it is estimated that about 40 million Americans have pre-diabetes. Aside from this, it is known to be the sixth leading cause of death in the US.
If left unchecked, a pre-diabetes condition can develop into Type 2 Diabetes within a few years. The best way to fight diabetes is to prevent it. In this article, we’ll discuss some steps that one can do to minimize the risk of developing diabetes.
Watch your weight. Studies show that people who are overweight and obese are more prone to developing diabetes. In fact, a big percentage of people who are diagnosed as diabetic are also overweight. Thus, maintaining a healthy weight that suits your age and body type is crucial in the prevention of diabetes.
Be aware of your family background. Clinical studies show that people with a family history of diabetes are also more at risk of acquiring this condition at some point during their lifetime. Statistics also reveal that cases of diabetes are more prevalent among Native Americans, African Americans and Hispanics.
Exercise regularly. A sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of diabetes. On the contrary, a regular exercise routine helps the body get rid of excess fat and burns excess calories into energy. Exercise also improves the blood’s circulation. Doctors recommend at least a 30-minute routine of exercise every day, not only to prevent diabetes but other serious diseases as well.
Eat a balanced diet. Sugar alone does not cause diabetes. However, excessive calories in our body are converted into glucose which is then absorbed by our blood cells. Therefore, if our diet consists of foods that are high in sugar content, we are also increasing our risk of developing diabetes. A healthy diet can protect our bodies from diabetes and other related diseases such as high blood pressure, heart diseases, etc.
See your doctor at least once a year. A yearly check-up is a must especially for people over the age of 45. Nevertheless, statistics show that children as young as 9 and adolescents are also diagnosed with a pre-diabetes condition. Thus, a regular check-up even at an earlier age is recommended particularly for those with a family history of diabetes. Early diagnosis and awareness that a person have diabetes is crucial so that the necessary steps could be taken to avoid other complications that can result from diabetes.
Educate yourself. Being aware of what diabetes is and what causes it can help you in taking precautionary steps or prevention. Knowing the signs of symptoms of diabetes can also make a big difference in early detecting the onset of diabetes.