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Northwestern-Medicine

Want to Avoid Becoming Diabetic? Follow These Tips!

Diabetes is one of the most concerning health problems in the world. Around 422 million people have diabetes on a global level, and 1.6 million deaths are directly attributed to diabetes every year. There are different types of diabetes, such as prediabetes, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. Prediabetes is a health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than usual but not high enough to be diagnosed as type II diabetes.

Diabetes – Symptoms And Causes

Diabetes is a condition that affects the way your body converts food into energy. Most of the food that we consume, our body breaks them down into sugar (glucose). When the blood sugar level rises, our body sends signals to the pancreas to release insulin. Insulin then acts as the key to let the blood sugar get used as energy. With diabetes, our body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or can’t use it well.

The general symptoms of diabetes include increased hunger, weight loss, blurry vision, extreme fatigue, increased thrust, increased urination (especially at night), catching more infections than usual and having numb or tingling hands or feet.

There is no evidence to prove what causes type 1 diabetes; however, type II diabetes usually happens due to genetics or having an unhealthy lifestyle. If you carry extra weight in your belly, your cells are more resistant to the effects of insulin on your blood sugar levels. Your risk for type II diabetes increases if you are overweight, have a parent or a sibling who have diabetes, physically inactive or have high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels.

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, there is no cure for this health condition yet, but one can reduce the impact of diabetes on their life by following these tips:

  • Cut down on sugary foods and refined carbs.
  • Perform any physical activity every day for at least 30 mins.
  • Stop consuming sugary drinks; they are equivalent to poison for a diabetic patient. (quite literally!)
  • Diabetes primarily attacks obese or overweight people, so make sure to stay fit.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Practice portion control with your meals.
  • Include foods that are rich in fibre as it is beneficial for gut health and weight management.
  • Get your blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels checked every 6 months.
  • Avoid sedentary behaviours like sitting in one place for a long period of time. Try walking for few minutes after every hour.
  • Include foods rich in vitamin D, as many studies have found that people who don’t get enough vitamin D have a greater risk of getting diabetes.
  • Cut back on processed foods and binge on nuts and seeds.
  • Drink coffee or tea. (without added sugar)
  • Stress management is very important as stress can cause your blood sugar levels to shoot up.
  • Not only sugar but say no to excessive salt in your food as well.
  • Consult a dietician to make sure your body is getting all the nutrients in the proper amount.
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