According to the Diabetes 2017 Report card diabetes prevalence continues to rise. Type 2 Diabetes is known as non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). With this type, your body is not producing or using insulin properly. The onset is usually in the adult years in people over 45, however, this is changing. Youth under 18 are developing it too. I can’t say that I am surprised especially with the rise in obesity among the youth.
Type 2 diabetes is the result of lifestyle practices. It can develop over several years. During that time glucose in the blood is increased related to the lack of the muscles response to use the glucose as energy. With type 2 diabetes there is a lack or deficiency of the hormone insulin that is produced by the pancreas. This causes carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and sugars to not be metabolized properly. The result is high blood sugar or hyperglycemia.
Another surprising fact is people can have the symptoms for type 2 diabetes for some time before they are even diagnosed. The symptoms of type 2 diabetes include having sores that take a long time to heal, urinating a lot at night, blurry vision, having very dry skin, experiencing more infections than usual, feeling tired, having feet or hands that feel numbness or tingling, being unusually hungry or extremely thirsty, and losing weight when not trying to.
Knowing the risk factors for type 2 diabetes can help you become more aware of your prevalence for acquiring the disease. Check out the following risk factors:
You are at risk of having type 2 diabetes if…
- You have a family history of diabetes (a grandparent, parent, sister, brother).
- You are over the age of 45. Keep in mind that there is a rise in the youth developing diabetes related to poor health habits.
- You are overweight.
- You exercise less than 3 times a week.
- You have ever had gestational diabetes
- Your ethnic background is African American, Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian or Alaska Native.
Prevention with Lifestyle
Type 2 diabetes is one disease that can be prevented. It sums up to lifestyle choices. Some people find it hard to make big changes all at once. If you are one of those people, I encourage you to take small steps that lead to big steps, therefore, adopting a healthy as a result. The key is to be consistent with the things that you do since type 2 diabetes develops over time. There are 5 lifestyle choices that when adopted can prevent type 2 diabetes. They are:
- Eat a Healthy Diet. A diet low in fat and high in fiber is a good place to start. Also be sure to include a variety of vegetables, fruits, dairy, and lean proteins.
- Be Active. Create an exercise routine that fits your lifestyle. Find exercises that you enjoy and can do at least 30 minutes/day, this can even be done in 10-minute increments throughout the day.
- Shed Excess Weight. Losing weight can be accomplished by staying consistent at eating healthy foods and engaging in a daily exercise routine.
- Limit Red and Processed Meat. The literature points to the concern of the high iron content diminishing insulin’s effectiveness or even damaging the cells that make insulin. Processed meats are high in sodium and nitrites are also culprits to watch.
- If You Smoke, Quit. Cigarette smoking offers no health benefit it is linked to a variety of health issues. Smoking constricts your blood vessel which could lead to poor blood flow.
Your health is nothing to take chances with. Each day you are alive you have an opportunity to do something good for your health. If you suspect that you have type 2 diabetes or you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in this article, see your doctor. To check for diabetes a blood test would need to be done. Today is the day to be in control of your health. Don’t wait for any disease to be in control of you.