You must have heard a lot about diabetes, especially if the condition runs in your family. It’s hard to rule out the potential risk of the disease coming through genes, and lifestyle factors, but inheriting ‘diabetic’ genes from one or both parents is likely to increase the risk in an individual. Yet, it is not necessary that one may suffer from diabetes just because of family history. A healthy lifestyle can delay or even prevent diabetes for a lifetime.
Despite your genetics, how you eat, how you manage stress, your level of physical activity, and exposure to environmental factors decide if you are at risk of developing diabetes.
A few lifestyle changes can help prevent the onset of diabetes in every individual. Here is a list of 5 basic steps that can reduce your risk of developing the disease.
Obesity increases the risk of developing diabetes by two to three times. If you are overweight, you are likely to have Type 2 diabetes. However, not everyone having Type 2 diabetes is obese or overweight but with strong family history one is likely to develop the condition at a young age. Talk to your doctor about weight loss management and start with reasonable short-term goals. Regular exercise and a healthy diet goes hand-in-hand for shredding extra body fat.
Water plays a key role in your weight loss programme. If your blood sugar levels are high, try to add sufficient fluids to the body. This will help your kidney pass excess sugar through urine. Do not replace soft drinks or other beverages with water as it can raise blood sugar levels and accumulate more glucose instead of flushing out. “Since water contains no carbohydrates or calories, we need it to rehydrate our blood when the body tries to remove excess glucose through urine,” says a diabetologist at AMRI Hospitals.
Fitness is the crucial part in controlling the risk of diabetes. Avoid a sedentary life not only to reduce the risk of having diabetes but other life-altering conditions. You don’t need to sign up for a gym and burn all your savings. Start with simple morning or evening walks, cycling, yoga, and aerobics at home. The purpose is to spend some time in activities you love and keep moving your body to regulate blood sugar levels as often as you can.
Prior to developing diabetes, sometimes a person’s body starts showing signs like, increased thirst levels, blurred vision, frequent urination or constant hunger pangs. In such cases, it is possible to have elevated blood glucose levels in the body. If you have a family history of diabetes, keep an eye on your overall health and get yourself checked every six months, particularly after the age of 35, to avoid a chronic condition. Also, keep an eye on blood pressure levels, heart, kidney, and eye health that often get affected with diabetes.
A huge part of managing type II diabetes is developing a healthy diet. Cut high-carbs from your daily diet, add more proteins and fiber rich food items. Legumes, fruits, leafy vegetables, and whole grains are more filling and energy-rich food, helping you maintain to a healthy gut. You can regulate blood sugar and insulin levels while watching your portion size. Take small healthy snacks in a gap of a few hours, and wholesome meals for lunch and dinner.
Above all, diabetes is a lifestyle disease. It can be controlled if one follows a healthy lifestyle. If you have a family history of diabetes, understand the disease, its symptoms and act early to reduce the complications associated with diabetes. It is helpful to speak with your family doctor and start working on it.
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