How to Protect Yourself from Type-2 Diabetes
Diabetes is a rising epidemic; researchers predict that unless the trend reverses, as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes by 2050. That’s a scary statistic. Which raises the question – what are you doing to make sure you don’t become a statistic?
Losing weight can decrease your risk of Type-2
While anyone can get Type 2 diabetes, a chronic condition that occurs when the body fails to properly use insulin, you’re at a greater risk if you’re overweight or obese. Your risk is also higher if you’re physically inactive, have a family history of the disease, are over the age of 45, have pre-diabetes and/or are black, Hispanic, Asian American, American Indian or Pacific Islander.
Although many of these risk factors are uncontrollable, you can significantly lower your risk for Type 2 diabetes by making necessary lifestyle changes.
If you’re above a healthy weight range, losing seven to ten percent of your current weight can lower your chances of diabetes by 50 percent. The more fatty tissue you have, the more resistant your cells will be to insulin. Since not being able to properly use insulin is a major risk for diabetes, losing weight is the most important thing high-risk individuals can do.
Physical activity is a great way to lose weight and improve your ability to use and absorb glucose. Exercising as little as thirty minutes every day can be effective—even if you’re just going for a brisk walk. As you increase the intensity of your exercise regimen, you can attain additional cardiovascular and health benefits.
To help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your risk of diseases that can lead to diabetes, such as high blood pressure, stick with a balanced and nutritious diet. This includes eating more whole grains, poultry and fish; drinking more water or tea; limiting red meat and eliminating processed foods. Additionally, be sure to choose good fats, such as polyunsaturated fats (e.g. liquid vegetable oils, nuts and seeds) instead of bad fats, such as saturated fats (e.g. butter, cheese and many baked goods and fried foods).
Manage Existing Health Conditions:
If you’re not already treating existing health conditions that increase your risk for diabetes, start doing so now. Additionally, if you know you have an impaired glucose tolerance, ask your doctor about taking medication to treat it. This can help prevent if from developing into diabetes.
If you’re at high risk for diabetes and are 30 years or older, your doctor might recommend being screened for Type 2 diabetes.
About the Center for Diabetes at Crozer-Keystone
An American Diabetes Association (ADA) recognized diabetes program, the Center for Diabetes provides outpatient education for individuals with new onset or uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, or for those who desire intensive control.
For more information about the Center for Diabetes, call (610) 328-8920 or visit http://diabetes.crozerkeystone.org.
Join in the Annual Step Out/Walk to Stop Diabetes
Crozer-Keystone Health System and Patrick Gavin, chief operating officer, Crozer-Keystone, are co-chairing the Annual American Diabetes Association’s Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes in Philadelphia on Saturday, November 1.
You can help make a big difference in the lives of people who are affected by diabetes. Join the CKHS team and donate here.