Type 2 diabetes is one of the most prevalent diseases in men and women over the age of 40, but many cases could be easily prevented. Age, race and genetic factors can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, but lifestyle factors and weight play a significant role in the development of the disease. Here are five things you can do to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Studies have shown that being overweight or obese significantly increases the risk of many different diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Carrying a large proportion of your extra weight around your waist further increases the risk of disease. Maintaining a healthy weight and losing any excess fat helps to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and is particularly important for those with a family history of the disease.
Improve Your Diet
Diet plays an important role in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes. Processed foods and those high in sugar, salt, unhealthy fats and artificial additives have been linked to many chronic health conditions, as well as poor mental health. Try to reduce your intake of processed foods and increase your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and high-quality protein, such as fish, chicken and red meat.
Increase Activity Levels
Regular exercise provides a wide range of physical and mental health benefits, but you don’t need to join a gym or attend an exercise class to reap the rewards. Making simple changes to your daily life, such as climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator, can increase your general activity levels and help to prevent type 2 diabetes. Finding ways to build more physical activity into your daily life will also help to manage your weight.
Learn to Relax
Stress has been linked to a whole range of chronic diseases and can sometimes lead to serious health problems. Learning how to relax and reduce stress levels is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Meditation and similar types of relaxation can prove useful for some people, but taking a hot bath, watching a movie with friends or reading a book can also help you to relax.
Know the Warning Signs of Type 2 Diabetes
Early diagnosis is crucial for preventing the serious complications associated with type 2 diabetes. Unexplained weight loss, chronic fatigue, increased thirst and excessive urination, particularly at night, are all warning signs of diabetes or a pre-diabetes condition. Recurring fungal infections, slow-healing wounds, and blurred vision can also be the result of diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a common condition that can lead to serious complications, but there are things you do to help prevent the disease. Losing weight, improving your diet, increasing your activity levels, learning to relax and knowing the early warning signs of diabetes will all help to reduce your risk of developing the disease. If you notice any of the symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes, it’s important to see your doctor as soon as possible, as early diagnosis helps to prevent serious complications.