There are two types of Diabetes.
This occurs when the body, more specifically, the pancreas, produces little or no insulin. There is no known way to prevent it and it is prevalent among children; 18,000 youth were diagnosed in the years of 2008 and 2009.
Type 2 develops when the body cannot use insulin properly. Unlike Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 is preventable. At the current rate, 1 out of 3 adults will develop Type 2 diabetes in their lifetime. Certain risk factors include being genetically predisposed and having diabetes while pregnant. But a concerning factor, and the most preventable one, is being overweight.
In the United States, 29.1 million people currently have diabetes. Think about it this way; that’s 1 out of every 11 people. A quarter of this group is not even aware that they have it.
Another 86 million people are at risk of prediabetes. This is 1 out of 3 adults in the United States.
With complications from health problems such as heart disease, kidney failure, blindness, and stroke, the risk of death is 50% higher than adults without diabetes.
Obesity is the single best predictor of type 2 diabetes. In fact, almost 90% of people living with type 2 diabetes are overweight or have obesity. So how can patients already managing with complications from their weight also manage their diabetes?
Lifestyle changes such as dieting and moderate to intense exercise (such as daily walking) proved that weight loss was possible in prediabetes cases.The development of diabetes in these studies was reduced by 40% to 60%.
Here are some guidelines to help you prevent Type 2 Diabetes
- Eat healthy: Be smart with portion sizes. Try to fill every meal with 1/4 protein, 1/4 grains, 1/2 vegetables and fruit, and a small amount of dairy (low-fat or skim milk). Drink water ten minutes before eating to curb your appetite. If you crave dessert, share one with a friend instead of getting an individual item.
- Be active: Aim to be physically active for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week. Even walking for fifteen minutes everyday is great place to start.
Eating healthy and being active not only will make you feel better, but when you lose weight, you significantly decrease your risk of obtaining Type 2 diabetes.
What if I already have Type 2 Diabetes?
Living a healthy lifestyle can help you better manage your diabetes.
- Devise a nutrition plan and an exercise schedule with your doctor
- Get enough, but not too much, sleep
- Get your heart rate up to 70 – 80% for an hour, six times a week
- Focus on unprocessed foods that provide the best nutrients
At NC Weight & Wellness, we not only help our patients lose the weight but we educate them on how to maintain their healthy weight. We have great success in our weight loss program with diabetic patients. Recently, a new male diabetic patient started in our program. He did not follow what we asked of him for the first to weeks and he saw little results. In the third week he followed our program exactly; he lost five pounds that week and did not have to take any insulin.