Diabetes is by far one of the most prevalent diseases to impact individuals across the US. Each year, thousands of patients are diagnosed, while thousands more go undetected. As you may or may not know, diabetes is a chronic illness that affects your body’s ability to produce insulin. While you can certainly live a completely normal life if diagnosed, thousands of people die each year due to complications.
There are things that you can do now that help to reduce your risk of diabetes so that you can live a long, healthy life. It will require you to adapt to new lifestyle changes, however. Below are eight that you should consider implementing into your life today:
1. Learn What Your Risks Are
Some people have increased risks of having diabetes at some point in their lifetime. Knowing where you fall is ideal so that you can create a preemptive plan to decrease your chances. There are varying factors that can determine whether a person is at risk including their family history and family background. If you have your family is prone to this disease, you will need to work diligently to ensure you don’t become next on the list. If you’re an ethnic category such as African American or Hispanic, you’re also at increased risk.
2. Visit Your Doctor Regularly
If you haven’t been for a checkup in a while, now is the time to do so. Visiting the doctor and receiving routine blood work can help to detect signs of diabetes much sooner. If caught in time, your doctor can go over ways for you to lower your risks before it is too late. If you’re diagnosed, your doctor can prescribe compound medications, such as those described by USHealth Group insurance, that can help to keep your blood sugar levels under control.
If you don’t have adequate health insurance to visit the doctor regularly, you can always do a bit of research on your own. A variety of companies including USHealth Group have social media pages, allowing medical patients to review the various offers and benefits that are available.
3. Keep Your Weight Under Control
While you might think that this is just a ploy to get you to lose weight, excessive weight can eventually lead to diabetes. This is especially true for those who have a lot of body fat stored near the abdomen area. Excessive fat can increase the body’s insulin resistance. Staying within a safe body mass index (BMI) to ensure that your weight does not get out of hand which can deteriorate your health.
4. Exercise on the Regular Basis
When you hear the word exercise, you don’t have to look at it as some harsh punishment that will leave your body aching the next morning. Exercise is a simple physical activity that gets the heart rate pumping and calories burning. Whether you jog around your neighborhood every morning, throw on a workout DVD for 15 minutes, or play tennis with your friends on the weekends, you just want to get more active throughout the day. Exercise helps to manage your weight, reduce blood sugar levels, and also helps to improve high blood pressure and cholesterol.
5. Eat a Balanced Diet
Nutrition and healthy eating go a long way in preventing various health conditions. By decreasing the number of fats in your diet and incorporating more fruits, veggies, and high fiber foods, you’re lowering your risk of diabetes.
6. Reduce Processed Food Intake
It can be easy to grab something from a drive-thru at McDonald’s or even pop in a microwaveable meal, but those foods are overly processed and high in saturated fats, and high in salt content. Try to minimize processed foods as much as possible and try to incorporate more plant-based foods or fresh ingredient meals as often as possible.
7. Watch That Alcohol
A drink or two throughout the week is certainly not going to kill you, however, alcohol is filled with empty calories. You want to make sure that you don’t drink too much alcohol as it can lead to excessive weight gain which increases blood pressure and triglyceride levels. While heightened triglyceride levels won’t cause diabetes, it does decrease your body’s ability to turn foods into energy.
8. Stop Smoking
Studies have shown that those who smoke are two times more likely to develop diabetes than those who do not. So if you’ve picked up the habit, you’re going to want to try and kick it in the near future.
This is certainly a chronic metabolic illness that you want to avoid at all costs. Whether you have a history in your family, have other risk factors, or have recently been diagnosed with diabetes, the above-mentioned lifestyle changes will help you immensely. Remember, before trying any new lifestyle changes it is always a good idea to visit a doctor to ensure that it is safe for you as it pertains to your health and any preexisting medical conditions you may have.