Diabetes is a major problem among today’s Americans, often due to diet and lifestyle choices. This disease affects the way that the body handles glucose. There are two types of diabetes, but the most preventable type and also, sadly, the most common type is type 2 diabetes. This type of the disease is said to be present when the sufferer either doesn’t produce enough insulin to effectively regulate glucose, is not responsive to insulin even when it is produced, or in some cases, both.
There are more than 25 million people in America who struggle with type 2 diabetes, and there are also many more people who are pre-diabetic, meaning they are close to having the disease and, unless they change their habits, will develop it in the future. The good news is that, as mentioned, type 2 diabetes is usually preventable if a person takes action as soon as possible.
A Healthy Lifestyle
One of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent type 2 diabetes, even if you are pre-diabetic, is to live a healthy lifestyle in terms of diet and exercise.
The vast majority of type 2 diabetes sufferers are overweight or obese. However, if those who are at risk for type 2 diabetes because of their weight lose weight healthily, by eating a nutritious, balanced diet and getting regular exercise, their risk decreases substantially. While all foods are okay in moderation, a person’s best chance for combatting type 2 diabetes comes when he or she eats a low-fat, high-fiber diet and gets at least thirty minutes of exercise per day.
Certain medications have also been shown to stave off type 2 diabetes for those who are pre-diabetic or otherwise at risk for the disease. One of the most popular diabetes medications is a drug known as Metformin though your doctor may recommend a different medication to suit your particular needs. It should be noted, however, that medication is not a cure-all and works best when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle.
You can’t really know if you’re at risk for type 2 diabetes or how much of a risk you face if you don’t see your doctor regularly. Regular checkups with your doctor can help him or her to determine if you are in a high risk group and should thus undergo testing for diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Your doctor will likely recommend testing if you fall into any of the following categories:
- Being overweight or obese, especially if you are 45 or older
- Living a sedentary lifestyle
- A family history of diabetes
Testing is important for people in these categories because the sooner a person finds out he is at risk for type 2 diabetes, the sooner steps can be taken to reduce that risk.
Type 2 diabetes is not something to be taken lightly. Whether you’re at risk or not, take steps to live a healthy, active life and to monitor your health closely so that you can prevent this and other health conditions from negatively affecting you.