November is National Diabetes Month and a time to focus on having a healthier body. Diabetes is a chronic disease that can stay with you for life. However, it can be prevented with the right lifestyle changes, diet and exercise. 70 million or more Americans are in a prediabetes stage, which happens frequently with being overweight. Reduce your weight, eat better, exercise more and gain a healthier body with these tips!
Studies show that diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death among Americans. Your body takes the food you eat and makes it into energy. Your sugars go to your blood, where insulin then helps the sugar move from your blood to your cells. However, with diabetes, your cells become insulin-resistant, meaning sugars can’t move from your blood to your cells. That can lead to severe health problems, especially with fatigue, fainting, or even death if your sugars aren’t controlled with medicine.
Even though diabetes can be a genetic disease, many people can avoid it with the right diet. Type 2 diabetes is most commonly associated with those who develop prediabetes and then diabetes afterwards. You want to do all you can to avoid the condition, if possible, because it can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, amputations and more.
If you are “prediabetic”, it means that you are at a high risk for developing diabetes. Your body may already be starting to show signs of insulin resistance, which is something that can’t be reversed once it has happened. People are in the prediabetic stage based off of how their blood sugar levels appear. You are in a prediabetic stage if your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, even though this doesn’t 100% mean that you will develop diabetes. At this stage, you want to make serious changes to your lifestyle to avoid diabetes, as this disease causes damage to your blood vessels, heart, kidneys, muscles, tissues and more over time.
There are many risk factors besides genetics and a family history for diabetes that you should be aware of. The number one risk factor for diabetes is being overweight or obese. This is because the more fat you have, the more resistant your cells are to insulin using your sugars for energy. You want to especially be careful about extra fat around your middle.
Diabetes is the most common after age 45, but could be attributed to less physical activity and more weight being carried around. Drinking sugary drinks (sodas, juices) frequently (or daily) can increase your risk, as your body gets flooded with tons of sugar. Bad cholesterol readings, high blood pressure and fat in your blood can all contribute to your risk as well as many other factors.
Honestly, you can reduce your diabetes risk with a healthy lifestyle. What you eat will determine how you feel throughout the day, what you weigh, and what nutrients your body has to keep itself healthy or not. The modern American diet is full of sugary, processed foods, which is different than the past. That may be the main contributing factor to how many millions now have diabetes. Healthy eating can reduce for health problems such as:
If you want to know how your diet is and if you have a low or high diabetes risk, consider getting a nutritional assessment. We will actually test your blood directly to see what nutrients you have and what you lack. Tests on your blood can determine if you have a diabetes risk and if you are at risk for other chronic conditions. We also couple this with electricity tests to see where fat deposits lie in your body, which is especially important for avoiding too much belly fat.
Often, patients will have their nutrition assessed and will begin a guided plan to exercise more to achieve weight loss or health goals. Diet and exercise must both be a part of our patients becoming healthier. They are both keys to staying healthy and for avoiding illness. Many people simply do not know how to go about them the correct way or they need a guiding hand. We provide diet and exercise counseling to help our patients move towards their goals instead of far away from them. Help and accountability can go a long way in helping you achieve your goals as you reduce your diabetes risk. To assess your health and to get started on your plan, call Back2Health at (843) 405-0025!