The National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2020 by the CDC shows that 1 in 10 Americans have diabetes and that 1 in 3 American adults have prediabetes. On top of that, newly diagnosed cases of type 1 and type 2 diabetes have significantly increased among US youth. The numbers show that diabetes is quite prevalent in our country, and does that mean you should be scared?
Read on to learn what diabetes is, how it can affect you, and ways you can control it.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition that impairs your body’s ability to process blood glucose, known also as blood sugar.
Blood glucose is the main source of energy for the body and it comes from the food you eat. A hormone called Insulin, which made by the pancreas helps glucose from food get into your cells to be used for energy. When the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces, the glucose cannot reach your cells and stays in your blood.
Without appropriate care and management, diabetes can lead to a buildup of sugars in the blood, which can increase the risk of health complications like stroke and heart disease.
Types of Diabetes
Type I: Type I diabetes occurs when the body fails to produce insulin. People with type I diabetes need to take artificial insulin to stay alive. We also call it juvenile diabetes, as it can start from childhood.
Type II: Type II diabetes affects the way the body uses insulin. While the body still makes insulin, the cells in the body do not respond to it as effectively, causing sugar to buildup in your blood. This is the most common type of diabetes. Obesity and lifestyle-related problems link with it.
Gestational diabetes: This occurs in women during pregnancy. Placenta-t which causes high blood sugar produces insulin-blocking hormones. Gestational diabetes is not common in women and usually resolves after giving birth.
There is also this sub-type called prediabetes which is when your blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough for the diagnosis of type II diabetes.
How can you control diabetes?
Even though diabetes has no cure, you can take adopt these lifestyle changes and healthier habits to control your diabetes.
Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
Maintaining a healthy body weight is important. This is because being overweight or obese is closely associated with the onset of type 2 diabetes. Your body can develop insulin resistance and It can lead to excessively high blood sugar, prompting diabetes if you are overweight.
Cut Down on your Sugar and Carbs Intake
Your body rapidly breaks sugary foods and refined carbs down into small sugar molecules, which are absorbed by your blood. Your blood sugar level rises which stimulates your pancreas to produce insulin. In people with diabetes, the body’s cells are resistant to insulin so the blood sugar remains high. To compensate the pancreas produces even more insulin. Over time, this can lead to higher blood sugar and increased insulin levels.
Diabetes raises the risk of cardiovascular conditions like heart disease and stroke. Smoking adds fuel to this as it constricts the blood vessels. It can also impair blood vessels in the legs, raising the risk of diabetes complications such as leg infections and amputation.
Stress increases blood sugar levels, especially in diabetes patients. This is because, during times of stress, the body releases certain hormones which increase the blood sugar levels are increased in the bloodstream.
Studies have proven that reducing stress levels is one way to control diabetes effectively.
Regular physical activity boosts high-density lipoprotein and decreases triglycerides. An active lifestyle can help you prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and conditions, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes, and other cardiovascular diseases.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise or physical activity 5 days a week.
Avoid Eating Processed food
Processed foods have high amounts of preservatives and sodium. This can increase blood pressure and cause complications like heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
We should avoid or minimize the consumption of processed foods to prevent the risks of diabetes.
Drinking water regularly and staying hydrated helps rehydrate the blood and lowers blood sugar levels, which reduces the risk of diabetes. Drinking adequate water also helps your kidneys flush out the excess sugar through urine.
Remember that water and other non-caloric beverages are best. Sweetened drinks are high in sugars which can drive up blood glucose and increase diabetes risk
Controlling diabetes requires an ongoing commitment to living a healthy lifestyle and eating right. Have a fixed routine for the day so that it makes it easier to adopt it. Consistency is the key to many things and is true for controlling diabetes too.
There are many steps you can take to control your diabetes, but the first and foremost step should always be getting tested and diagnosed by a medical professional. Get your testing kits with at 24 7 Labs today!