With more and more diets centered on prepackaged and fast foods there has been a rise in both obesity rates as well as Type 2 Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes. Both diabetes and pre-diabetes are being discovered by persons of young ages, including children. This is not an extension of Type 1 diabetes, sometimes referred to as Juvenile diabetes, where the person who suffers from the ailment has little control. Type 2 Diabetes is almost completely related to a person’s diet and exercise regimen, especially when it comes to younger persons.
Diabetes Prevention and Testing
Ideally, blood sugar levels for those who do not already have diabetes should remain between 70 and 120 mg/dl. When levels pass the 100 mg/dl mark doctors will often diagnose pre-diabetes and assign dietary counseling, especially if the patient has other risk factors, such as obesity and/or a family history of diabetes.
Aside from the actual test results, there is sometimes little evidence that your blood sugar is creeping up to dangerous levels. Without proper treatment diabetes can bring about kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage, and problems with the feet. But fortunately, with the right changes you can still prevent all of that.
Diabetes - Prevention, Treatment, and Symptoms
Many people have managed to lower blood sugar levels through making necessary changes to their diet and increasing their exercise regimen.
These changes don’t need to be extensive. There’s no need to try and lose 100 pounds as fast as you can and train for a marathon or cut out every carbohydrate in your life. Balance is a key component. If you aren’t prepared to change what you’re eating right away, you can start by changing how you eat. Many people mentally and physically attempt to prepare for a big meal by either not eating earlier in the day or eating very small amounts. They are attempting to “save” their allotted calories. This method is not good for metabolism or blood sugar levels. Metabolism levels can slow from not eating, and blood sugar can spike. Instead, you should eat balanced meals throughout the day where carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are kept consistent. Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains with two or more grams of fiber per serving can help lower blood sugar levels, especially foods like oatmeal that contain soluble fiber.
Giving up or reducing your intake of very high sugar and starch foods can also reduce blood sugar levels. Soda is a big culprit when it comes to raising blood sugar levels. Making simple changes, such as trading a morning donut or pastry for a slice of whole grain peanut butter toast can have a significant effect. Some people will opt to switch to diet soda, however some studies have shown that drinking too much diet soda will actually make you more likely to crave other sugary food. It’s best to either eliminate soda, or monitor your intake in order to keep your intake to reasonable levels. It also helps to increase foods with resistant starch. Beans, especially black beans and kidney beans that are found in many chili recipes are a great source. Beans have the added benefit of reducing cholesterol levels as well. Unfortunately, some may have trouble digesting beans. In order to get around this, you should increase these foods gradually and or take digestive aids while your system is getting used to your increased consumption.
Taking Control of Your Diabetes: Diabetes Prevention
Nearly 24 million Americans have diabetes and the numbers are increasing at alarming rates. What can we do, if anything, to prevent diabetes in the first place?
Another thing you should pay closer attention to is how much sleep you are getting each night.
Studies show an increased incidence of Type 2 diabetes by those who sleep less than 6 hours a night, and most adults function best on 7-9 hours of sleep. Another common problem of Type 2 diabetics and pre-diabetics is sleep apnea, which will cause multiple waking during the night when airways become blocked. This can be a serious condition in itself, and treating it can have the added bonus of reducing blood sugar levels.
Of course getting regular exercise and making an effort to lose weight and lower stress levels can also help with lowering blood sugar. Chances are making many of the changes already mentioned will result in at least a small amount of weight loss. Incorporating exercise can help not only with blood sugar levels, but can also reduce stress and help you lose weight. Don’t worry too much about receiving big results on the scale, even small amounts can make a big difference to your health and worry too much about losing a large amount of effort can sabotage your efforts and defeat the purpose.
Although there is a lot you can do to control your blood sugar levels and improve your overall health, it is important to keep in contact with your doctor and have your blood sugar monitored on a regular basis. For some people, making these changes will still fall short and medication or other treatment for Type 2 diabetes may be necessary. You and your doctor can decide which changes will best fit into your life.