Diabetes is the condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugars to build up in your blood. This is why many people refer to diabetes as “sugar.”
Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations.
What Is Type 2 diabetes?
Our cells depend on a single simple sugar, glucose, for most of their energy needs. That’s why the body has intricate mechanisms in place to make sure glucose levels in the bloodstream don’t go too low or soar too high. When you eat, most digestible carbohydrates are converted into glucose and rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. Any rise in blood sugar signals the pancreas to make and release insulin. This hormone instructs cells to sponge up glucose. Without it, glucose floats around the bloodstream, unable to slip inside the cells that need it.
Diabetes occurs when the body can’t make enough insulin or can’t properly use the insulin it makes.
One form of diabetes occurs when the immune system attacks and permanently disables the insulin-making cells in the pancreas. This is type 1 Diabetes.
The other form of diabetes tends to creep up on people, taking years to develop into full-blown diabetes. It begins when muscle and other cells stop responding to insulin’s open-up-for-glucose signal. The body responds by making more and more insulin, essentially trying to ram blood sugar into cells. Eventually, the insulin-making cells get exhausted and begin to fail. This is type 2 diabetes.
The good news is that type 2 diabetes is largely preventable. About 9 cases in 10 could be avoided by taking several simple steps: keeping weight under control, exercising more, eating a healthy diet, and not smoking.
Making a few lifestyle changes can dramatically lower the chances of developing diabetes:-
Exercise Regularly –
Regular exercise can help you lose weight and increase insulin sensitivity. Increased insulin sensitivity means your cells are better able to use the available sugar in your bloodstream. Exercise also helps your muscles use blood sugar for energy and muscle contraction. This can lead to reduced blood sugar levels.
Control Your Carb Intake –
Carbs are broken down into glucose, which raises blood sugar levels. Reducing carbohydrate intake can help with blood sugar control. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends controlling carb intake by counting carbs or using a food exchange system. What’s more, a low-carb diet can help control blood sugar levels in the long run.
Increase Your Fiber Intake –
Fiber slows carb digestion and sugar absorption. For these reasons, it promotes a more gradual rise in blood sugar levels. Soluble fiber specifically has been shown to lower blood sugar levels. Foods that are high in fiber include vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains. The recommended daily intake of fiber is about 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. That’s about 14 grams for every 1,000 calories.
Drink Water and Stay Hydrated –
Staying hydrated can reduce blood sugar levels and help prevent diabetes.
Implement Portion Control –
The more control you have over your serving sizes the better control you will have over your blood sugar levels. Portion control helps regulate calorie intake and can lead to weight loss.
Control Stress Levels –
Hormones such as glucagon and cortisol are secreted during stress. These hormones cause blood sugar levels to go up. Controlling stress levels through exercise or relaxation methods such as yoga will help you control blood sugars. Exercises and relaxation methods like yoga and mindfulness-based stress reduction can also correct insulin secretion problems in chronic diabetes.
Monitor Your Blood Sugar Levels –
“What gets measured gets managed. “Measuring and monitoring blood glucose levels can also help you control them. Checking your sugars and maintaining a log every day will help you adjust foods and medications to decrease your sugar levels.
Get Enough Quality Sleep –
Good sleep helps maintain blood sugar control and promote a healthy weight. Poor sleep can disrupt important metabolic hormones. Furthermore is about both quantity and quality. It is best to get a sufficient amount of high-quality sleep every night.
Eat Foods Rich in Chromium and Magnesium –
Eating foods rich in chromium and magnesium on a regular basis can help prevent deficiencies and reduce blood sugar problems. Chromium is involved in carb and fat metabolism. It also helps control blood sugar levels, and a lack of chromium may predispose you to carb intolerance.
Chromium-rich include egg yolks, whole-grain products, high-bran cereals, coffee, nuts, green beans, broccoli and meat. In one study, people with the highest magnesium intake had a 47% lower risk of becoming diabetic. Magnesium-rich foods include dark leafy greens, whole grains, fish, dark chocolate, bananas, avocados and beans.
Find ways to make healthy food choices. This can help you manage your weight and lower your chances of getting type 2 diabetes. Choose to eat more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Cut back on high-fat foods like whole milk, cheeses, and fried foods. Making changes in weight, exercise, and diet can not only prevent pre-diabetes from becoming diabetes, but can also return blood glucose levels to the normal range.