Diabetes causes blood glucose (sugar) levels to rise higher than normal. This is also called hyperglycemia.
Your pancreas makes a hormone called insulin, which helps cells convert glucose from the food you eat into energy. In Type 2 diabetes, the body makes insulin, but the cells are not able to use it properly. This is known as insulin resistance.
In the beginning, the pancreas works harder to produce more insulin to ensure glucose enters the cells. But with time, this can damage cells in your pancreas. Eventually, your pancreas may not be able to produce any insulin.
Signs and Symptoms
Type 2 diabetes causes a variety of symptoms that develop slowly. The symptoms are usually mild in the beginning, so most people ignore them. But paying attention to early symptoms is crucial to curbing or preventing this condition.
Some of the early symptoms of Type 2 diabetes are:
- Increased hunger.
- Lack of energy and constant fatigue.
- Sudden weight loss/gain.
- Excessive thirst.
- Frequent urination.
- Dry mouth.
- Itchy skin.
- Blurry vision.
Here are the key tips to prevent developing Type 2 diabetes.
1. Eat Healthy and Get More Fiber
Eating healthy is one of the most important steps that you can take to lower your risk for Type 2 diabetes.
You must follow a diet that is high in fiber. Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains and nuts.
To reduce your risk:
- Eat more fruits and vegetables and opt for leaner cuts of meat and poultry. Choose healthy unsaturated fats.
- It’s not only what you eat but also how much you eat that matters. Be careful about portion sizes and try to eat 5 or 6 small meals rather than 2 large meals.
- Flavor foods with spices and fresh herbs, rather than unhealthy saturated fat or excess salt.
- Also, try to eat your meals at about the same time every day.
2 Quit Smoking
Those who smoke are more likely to get diabetes. Also, the more cigarettes you smoke, the higher the risk.
Active smoking may cause insulin resistance, a precursor for diabetes. It also deteriorates glucose metabolism, which may lead to the onset of Type 2 diabetes.
Smoking also increases your risk of heart disease, kidney disease, leg ulcers or amputation caused by poor blood flow, eye disease and nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy).
3. Lose Extra Weight
Obesity is a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes. So, if you’re overweight and want to reduce your risk for Type 2 diabetes, you must make an effort to lose excess weight.
You don’t have to lose a lot of weight to improve your health. Even losing 10 to 15 pounds can make a big difference.
A 2016 study published in the World Journal of Diabetes highlights the efficacy of walking in preventing Type 2 diabetes and reducing the risk of cardiovascular events and/or mortality.
Regular exercise also helps maintain body weight, another risk factor for diabetes. It also reduces your risk of complications if you already have diabetes.
- Even if you’ve never exercised before, you can find ways to add physical activity to your day. In fact, start with walking, a good exercise for people who are at a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
- Strive to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity 5 days a week.
H/T: Top 10 Home Remedies