When it comes to type 2 diabetes – the most common type of diabetes – prevention is very important. If you are overweight, there is a history of the disease in your family or if you have been diagnosed with prediabetes (also known as impaired fasting glucose), it is especially important that you adopt a healthy lifestyle and take care of yourself for prevention.
Making a few simple lifestyle changes now can help you avoid serious diabetes complications, such as nerve, kidney and / or heart damage.
The American Diabetes Association suggests that preventing diabetes can begin with basic care, such as eating healthier, doing more physical activity and losing some weight.
Remember: TODAY is the BEST day to START. It is never too late to take care of your health.
Here we explain the benefit of each of these changes:
Get more physical activity
Routine physical activity has many benefits. It is recommended that adults up to 65 years of age get a total of two and a half hours of weekly exercise. This can be walking, dancing, or climbing stairs for half an hour a day five times a week.
Exercise can help you:
- Lose weight
- Lower blood sugar levels
- Increase your sensitivity to insulin, which helps keep your blood sugar within a normal range
Research has shown that aerobic exercise and resistance training can help control diabetes. The biggest benefit comes from a fitness program that combines both practices.
Get lots of fiber
Fiber can help you:
- Reduce the risk of diabetes by improving glycemic control
- Reduce the risk of heart disease
- Promote weight loss by helping you feel full
Fiber-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and nuts.
Choose whole grains
Whole grains lower the risk of diabetes and help maintain blood sugar levels. Aim for at least half of the grains you eat to be whole grains. Many foods made from whole grains come ready to eat, such as different breads, types of pasta, and cereals. Look for the word “integral” on the packaging and among the first items on the ingredient list.
Lose the extra pounds
If you are overweight, preventing diabetes may depend on losing weight. Some participants in a large study who lost a modest amount of weight (about 7% of their initial body weight) and who exercised regularly reduced their risk of getting diabetes by almost 60%.
Avoid fad diets and choose healthier options
Low carb diets, the glycemic index diet, or other fad diets can help you lose weight in the beginning. But its effectiveness in preventing diabetes and its long-term effects are unknown. Also, by strictly excluding or limiting a particular food group, you could be giving up essential nutrients in those foods and are likely to crave such foods often. Instead, include a variety of foods and controlled-size portions in your healthy eating plan. Avoid buying processed foods and those that are high in sugar.
When to see your doctor
The American Diabetes Association recommends testing your blood glucose if:
-You are 45 or older
-You are an adult, of any age, and you are overweight,or have one or more risk factors for diabetes, such as a family history of diabetes, a personal history of prediabetes or a sedentary lifestyle.
Pay attention to these symptoms, if you present them it is advisable to go to a doctor. These could be early symptoms of diabetes caused by high blood sugar may include:
- Infection in the bladder, kidney, skin, or other infections that are more frequent or heal slowly
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination or an urgent or frequent desire to urinate
- Blurry vision
Starting at age 45, your doctor will likely recommend a test every three years.
Talk to your doctor about your concerns and how to prevent diabetes. Your doctor will welcome your efforts to prevent diabetes and may have more suggestions, based on your medical history and other factors.
You can call us at 1-800-299-7917 to make a virtual appointment with Doctor Rigoberto Perez Diaz, or visit our website www.salud.bz, we will gladly assist you. Remember to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and do not forget to tune into our daily program SALUD TV.