While some people are born with diabetes and develop it as a child (Type 1 diabetes), many people are also at risk of acquiring it later (Type 2 diabetes). Several non-genetic factors contribute to the onset of diabetes, which are mainly from the habits we form as people.
Prediabetic individuals, for example, need to be more aware of these factors are they are more at risk of developing diabetes. Affecting around 60 million people in the United States alone, untreated prediabetes can develop into diabetes and form adverse health problems in people. However, it can be stopped and even reversed by making better lifestyle changes.
While medication and following a health professional’s advice can help immensely, taking more natural and holistic approaches to your health also has many benefits. If you or a loved one are at risk of diabetes or are already diabetic, here are some steps you can actively take to prevent and manage Type 2 diabetes:
1. Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Whether you’re working towards weight loss or weight maintenance, your goal is to prevent unhealthy weight gain. Obesity is one factor that can lead to diabetes and making an effort to keep your weight down or at a constant number can help you stay healthy and lower your risk of developing diabetes.
2. Healthy Eating
You can manage your weight and lower your risk of diabetes by following a healthy and balanced diet. Excess intake of certain foods (mainly carbohydrate-rich foods) has been linked to Type 2 diabetes or can worsen symptoms in people who already have diabetes. Be careful not to fall for fad diets. Always consult a health professional or nutritionist to find out what diet works best for you.
3. Regular Exercise
A fair amount of physical activity that you do regularly has excellent long-term benefits for your health. It can help you feel physically and mentally better and is another way to manage your weight too.
4. Cut Out Smoking
Tobacco can cause glucose levels to spike up and lead to insulin resistance, which can increase your risk for diabetes – especially if you’re a heavy smoker. Quitting smoking can lead to a lower risk of diabetes and better health overall.
5. Keeping a Journal
Whether you have diabetes or not, learning about and understanding your health changes is much easier to do when you keep a diet journal. Keeping track of your meals, doctor’s visits, and more can help you pinpoint what isn’t working for you and make changes accordingly.
6. Scheduling your Meals
Eating at a particular time allows you to have more control over what you eat because you’re not entirely at the mercy of whatever is available around you to eat at random times. Besides bringing the food that you prepare at home, your body becomes conditioned to follow a routine, and you will experience hunger pangs a lot less.
Scheduling your meals also makes it easier to check your glucose levels and give yourself an insulin shot because you already know it’s coming and you can prepare yourself.