How to Prevent the Most Common Type of Diabetes

I was eagerly waiting for Ganesh G’s arrival, I mean Ganesh Chaturthi. It’s one festival I enjoy the most.  Do you know the best thing about it? I get to visit my hometown and parents.

All of us enjoyed a lot of sweets and were tired. Among all exhausted faces, I noticed my aunt, she seemed really tired.  She asked me for some water to drink and within 15 minutes asked for water again. She kept complaining about the wound in her toe which had not healed for the past two months. I realized these were signs of high glucose in her blood.

Yes, diabetes can be identified by indicating symptoms like – frequent urination, unusual thirst, excessive fatigue, hunger, weight loss & wounds that take longer to heal. Type 2 diabetes, however, may remain unnoticed & may not display any signs for years.

We took my aunt to the hospital and she was diagnosed with diabetes. As we all know, this condition cannot be reversed.  She now has to take medicines for the rest of her life.  The only saving grace is that she came to know about this at an early stage which would probably help her control it better.

Few facts that you should know about diabetes:

  • Type-2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, developed mostly in middle-aged and older people. About 95% of people with diabetes have type 2.
  • India has more diabetics more than any other nation according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) statistics.
  • Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) proved that 5-7% weight loss (for a 200-pound person it would be 10 to 14 pounds) through moderate diet and physical activity can delay or prevent type-2 diabetes.
  • Pre-diabetes is when a person has a blood sugar level higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Without lifestyle changes to improve their health, 15% to 30% of people with pre-diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years.

So, if you are wondering whether you should get tested for diabetes or pre-diabetes, it is best to get it done if your 45 years of age or older. If you are 45 or older and you are overweight, the test is strongly recommended. And if you are younger than 45, overweight and have one or other risk factors like smoking, alcohol consumption or have a diabetic parent(s), you should consider getting tested.

It’s simple, you just have to ask for HbA1C test, fasting blood glucose test or an Oral glucose tolerance test. This test will reveal whether you have normal blood glucose, diabetes or pre-diabetes. If you are told you have pre-diabetes, take steps to prevent type 2 diabetes.

Science-backed steps that you can take to reduce your risk of type-2 diabetes:

  • Be physically active every day
  • Make wise food choices most of the time (read about what to eat here)
  • Reach and maintain a healthy body weight and waistline
  • Reduce your sodium and alcohol intake
  • Track your goals and activity on a food and activity tracker

Don’t forget to get a good amount of sleep. 7-8 hours of daily sleep is strongly advised. Studies show that untreated sleep problems, especially sleep apnea, can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Night shift workers who have problems with sleep may also be at increased risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes.

It’s a short span that we get to enjoy with our family and friends. Let diabetes not ruin the taste of life. Stay healthy. Get to it before it gets to you!

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Shainy William

Shainy William is research analyst at Health Vectors. Her love for writing inspires her to share her knowledge and help everyone start living healthy.

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