How to Prevent the Risk of Diabetes

Risks of Diabetes
This guest post was written by Efraim Landa

Efraim Landa is the founder of Effi Enterprises a Venture capital firm that funds medical start ups.

Diabetes is on the rise in the United States. According to the 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report, nearly 10 percent of the American population has diabetes, and more than 8 million are yet undiagnosed. Diabetes is a medical condition that is characterized by elevated blood sugar levels. The levels of blood sugar in the blood are controlled by the substance insulin. Insulin is a necessary pancreatic hormone, but in diabetics, it is produced less often, or the body simply does not respond the way it should to that insulin. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is formerly known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is formerly known as adult-onset or non-insulin-dependent diabetes. There are a number of differences between these two types of diabetes. The first type of diabetes, type 1, typically occurs in childhood (but not always), and its causes are still unknown. Type 1 only accounts for between 5 and 10 percent of all diabetics. Type 2 diabetes typically occurs in adulthood (but can occur at nearly any age), and it is largely preventable. This article contains information on how to prevent the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Lifestyle

Maintain a healthy weight. Nearly all those who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes carry around extra weight. Though being a few pounds overweight typically does not lead to diabetes, carrying excess body weight around your midsection makes you especially prone to developing diabetes. If you’re overweight, talk to your doctor about a healthy weight loss program that will help you to shed those extra pounds and learn to maintain that weight loss for the rest of your life. Eat a well-balanced diet that contains all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to keep it functioning properly. Don’t overdo the sugar. Eating a sweet treat every now and then is all right if you’re not someone who’s already been diagnosed with diabetes. However, including sweets in your everyday diet puts you at a higher risk of developing diabetes. Exercise is also a vital part of staving off diabetes. Living a sedentary lifestyle with little or no exercise tops the list for high-risk behaviors that contribute to diabetes.

Family history

Another of the most important things you can do to prevent diabetes is to know your family’s medical history. If you have one or more blood relatives with diabetes, your chances of getting it are greater. If this is the case, it’s especially important for you to watch what you eat, get all the nutrients your body needs, and maintain an active lifestyle that keeps your weight at a healthy level. Additionally, it’s important to know that African Americans and Hispanics are also at a greater risk of developing diabetes. If you’re African American or Hispanic, talk to your doctor about extra precautions you can take to prevent this disease.

See your doctor

Unless you’re a doctor, you can’t really be sure you’re not on the path to diabetes if you don’t get checked out regularly. Your doctor will be able to check your blood sugar levels at your regular visits. Additionally, when you see your doctor, discuss your family history as well as preventive measures you can take against diabetes.

Prevention of type 2 diabetes is largely about lifestyle and lifestyles alterations. If you’re someone who carries around extra weight, you’re at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes. If you’re someone who eats a diet that contains a lot of sugar, you’re at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes. If you’re someone whose lifestyle is sedentary, with little or no exercise, you’re at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes. These are just a few of the high-risk behaviors for contracting type 2 diabetes. The good news, of course, is that these are all behaviors, and that means they can be altered. Get up, get out, and get active. These are among the most important things you can do to lower your risk of developing diabetes. Diabetes is a serious medical condition that can lead to severe medical complications, including loss of limbs and loss of life. For more information about diabetes and preventive measures you can take to avoid it, talk to your doctor.