What Kind Of Lifestyle Changes Can Help Reduce The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
Essentially, it all comes down to a balanced, healthy diet as well as exercise and getting enough sleep. “Eating a fibre rich, plant-based diet helps to promote healthy gut bacteria and helps to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, normalise blood sugars and lower insulin resistance,” explains Rohini.
“Physical movement and exercise are also immensely helpful in improving tissue sensitivity to insulin, especially when undertaken after meals to dampen blood sugar swings,” she adds. “Adequate, restful sleep plays an important role in insulin sensitivity too.”
As well as looking after your physical health, it’s important to take care of your mental health. Dr Bajekal says stress management and positive social connections, can all play a part in managing PCOS and reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Can You Lower The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
There are many ways that women and those AFAB with PCOS can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but as Dr Bajekal says “it’s important to treat the root cause of the issue the insulin resistance.”
She notes: “It is possible to reverse insulin resistance, particularly in the early stages. The aim is to make the bodys cells sensitive to the action of insulin again so that the glucose gets cleared from your bloodstream and picked up by your cells more efficiently, meaning your pancreas can stop producing so much.”
So, how exactly can you do that? “By making changes to your lifestyle you can sensitise your tissues to insulin and help avoid the longer-term effects of untreated insulin resistance which can cause type 2 diabetes,” says nutritionist Rohini Bajekal.
Rohini continues: “Losing even small amounts of excess body weight reduces the amount of intracellular fat within the cells, making them more sensitive to insulin. This in turn lowers insulin levels and improves insulin resistance, with many noticing an improvement in their PCOS symptoms.”
Watch Your Sugar Intake
The first thing I tell my clients to get rid of is sweet tea and soda, and to drink more water, advises Ginn-Meadow. This small step will help you manage your blood sugar better. According to a , , beverage companies continue to disproportionately target advertising for these beverages to Black and Hispanic youth, which likely contributes to the higher rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease in these groups.
Metabolically, sugary drinks are insidious. As a past article noted, sugary beverages are high in added sugar and dont offer nutrition, leading to weight gain and increasing cravings for sugary products. Independently, the high refined carbohydrate content increases the risk of insulin resistance, inflammation, and impaired B cell function, which is a combination of factors that sets the stage for type 2 diabetes.
In addition to cutting back on sugary drinks, Ginn-Meadow recommends adding half a plate of veggies to each meal and eating more whole fruits instead of juice. For example, she says, Eat an orange instead of drinking orange juice. The reason: Whole fruits contain more fiber than juice, which has been stripped of this nutrient. Most Americans do not get enough fiber . Yet this nutrient may be protective against metabolic disease including diabetes, suggested a meta-analysis published in December 2017 in Nutrients.
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Prevention Tips For Parents
Not long ago, it was almost unheard of for young children or teens to get type 2 diabetes. Now, about one-third of American youth are overweight, which is directly related to the increase in kids who have type 2 diabetes, some as young as 10 years old.
Parents have the power to make healthy changes that give kids the best chance to prevent type 2 diabetes. And when the whole family makes changes together, its easier to create healthy habits that stick. Get started with these simple but effective tips for healthy eating and being active family style.
How Does Pcos Relate To Type 2 Diabetes
It’s all to do with insulin resistance points out Dr Nitu Bajekal. “Insulin resistance, a condition when the cells in our body become resistant to the action of the hormone insulin, appears to be the main driver in causing PCOS and many of its symptoms,” she says. “It increases the risk of pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes and a range of other health issues.”
Start Healthy Habits And Set An Example
Making healthy meal choices and regular physical activity normal parts of daily life makes it easier to stick with healthy choices. The earlier that you start making healthy lifestyle choices, the easier it is to continue making them. Teach your children the importance of physical activity and healthy eating, and establish healthy choices at a young age.
Preventing Type 2 Diabetes
Perhaps you have learned that you have a high chance of developing type 2 diabetes, the most common type of diabetes. You might be overweight or have a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes. Maybe you had gestational diabetes, which is diabetes that develops during pregnancy. These are just a few examples of factors that can raise your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, and eye and foot problems. Prediabetes also can cause health problems. The good news is that type 2 diabetes can be delayed or even prevented. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to develop health problems, so delaying diabetes by even a few years will benefit your health. You can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by losing a modest amount of weight by following a reduced-calorie eating plan and being physically active most days of the week. Ask your doctor if you should take the diabetes drug metformin to help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.1
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Change Your Ways Reduce Your Risk: 7 Tips For Preventing Diabetes
One-fourth of people dont know they have diabetesa scary fact, given the complications of chronically high blood sugar: heart attack, stroke, sight-robbing eye disease, kidney failure, foot amputation. Worse, another 86 million adults have prediabetes, a condition of elevated blood sugar just below the threshold for diabetes.
The good news is type 2 diabetes is largely preventable. A seminal 2006 study demonstrated that intensive lifestyle modification reduced the risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent, as compared to a 31 percent risk reduction achieved with the antidiabetes drug metformin.
Take Care Of Bumps And Bruises
Diabetes raises your risk of infection and slows healing, so treat even simple cuts and scrapes quickly. Properly clean your wound and use an antibiotic cream and sterile bandage. See a doctor if it’s not better in a few days. Check your feet every day for blisters, cuts, sores, redness, or swelling. Moisturize them to prevent cracks.
Evaluating The Evidence: Does Exercise Lower Diabetes Risk
Numerous scientific studies have shown a direct link between physical activity and Type 2 diabetes. People who frequently exercise have a significantly lower risk of diabetes.
In fact, along with a healthy diet, exercising is one of the most effective lifestyle changes you can make to lower your diabetes risk.
How does exercise impact your diabetes risk? When you engage in aerobic exercise, your muscle tissue needs a constant supply of glucose.
Exercising causes your muscle cells to become more sensitive to insulin, the hormone that circulates through your bloodstream and tells your cells to take up more glucose. This causes you to clear glucose from the blood more quickly.
The effects of higher insulin sensitivity are compounded by the fact that aerobic exercise causes your blood flow to increase, giving your muscles even more glucose to absorb. Thus, aerobic exercise can prevent or even reverse glucose insensitivity, a hallmark of Type 2 diabetes.
Exercise also helps you burn more calories, lowering your risk of obesity. There is a strong link between being significantly overweight and Type 2 diabetes.
In particular, having body fat in the stomach or midsection is associated with higher diabetes risk. Exercising helps your body metabolize fat, decreasing your overall body-fat percentage. In fact, aerobic exercise seems to preferentially target abdominal fat, making it a great way to prevent diabetes.
Other Risk Factors For Diabetes
While consuming large amounts of added sugar is linked to an increased risk of diabetes, many other factors are at play, such as:
- Body weight: Research shows that obesity is one of the main risk factors for type 2 diabetes but that losing just 510% body weight can reduce the risk (
If reducing your intake of added sugars feels overwhelming, you can start by simply reducing your intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, which are the primary source of added sugars in the standard American diet .
This one small change could make a big impact.
Carefully reading nutrition labels is another must, since there are over 50 different names for sugar used in food products. Learning to notice them is the first step in reducing your consumption.
Thankfully, there are many ways to cut back on sugar while still enjoying a flavorful and nutrient-dense diet, so you dont have to feel deprived.
Eating fewer added sugars can reduce your risk of diabetes, as can a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and coffee with moderate alcohol consumption.
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Have A Realistic Weight Loss Goal
Set yourself up for success. Its important to be practical because a slow, steady approach to weight loss tends to get the best results when it comes to keeping weight off.
Its also worth noting the results dont have to be drastic to meaningfully improve your health. Experts say even 5 percent can make a difference. This means if someone at 180 pounds adjusts their exercise and food habits and works their way down to 170 over a few months, the resulting health benefits can be worthwhile.
Talk with your doctor about what weight loss goal makes sense for you and how best to work toward it.
Ways To Prevent Or Improve Your Management Of Diabetes
While factors such as racism and discrimination, as well as access to healthy food, education, and exercise are broader societal issues beyond most individuals direct control, many factors even genetics are not. Diabetes doesnt have to be your destiny, says Ginn-Meadow.
Here are six ways to help reduce your risk of diabetes:
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How Can I Protect My Kids From Developing Type 2 Diabetes
These steps can help;reduce your kids’;risk for developing type 2 diabetes and the health problems it can cause:
- Make sure kids eat a healthy diet. Encouraging your kids to eat low-fat, nutrient-rich foods like whole-grain cereals and breads, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and lean proteins can help prevent excessive weight gain, a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
- Limit sugary foods and beverages. Consuming lots of sugar-filled foods and beverages like sodas, juices, and iced teas can lead to excessive weight gain.
- Encourage lots of physical activity.Staying active and limiting the time spent in sedentary activities like watching TV, being online, or playing video or computer games can help reduce the risk of weight gain and help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. Being active can be as simple as walking the dog or mowing the lawn. Try to do something that gets you and your kids moving every day.
If you think your child may be overweight and at risk for type 2 diabetes, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian. They can help you learn what your child’s weight goals should be and how to reach them.
Exercise Must Be Used In Conjunction With Other Preventative Efforts
Although exercise can reduce your risk of diabetes, exercise alone is not necessarily sufficient to prevent the disease. Other factors also contribute to your risk.
Some of these are unavoidable such as age, race, genetics and family history. However, there are other modifiable risk factors that you can control:
- Diet: Eating a diet high in added sugars, saturated and trans fats, and sodium may significantly elevate your diabetes risk. Combine exercise with a healthy diet that emphasizes whole grains, fruits, vegetables and nonfat dairy products to prevent diabetes.
- Obesity: Keeping your weight within a healthy range lowers your risk.
- High cholesterol or triglycerides levels: Diet and exercise can both help to lower cholesterol and triglycerides levels, which further reduces your diabetes risk.
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Will Having Diabetes Make It Hard For Me To Lose Weight
Some medications used to treat diabetes often result in weight gain. But the good news is, they dont have to. Our weight loss specialists will work to design a diabetes regimen that minimizes the use of medications that can lead to weight gain, while achieving good glycemic control. We will also design a healthy eating and exercise plan that will help control your diabetes, and help you lose weight.
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How Much Weight Do I Have To Lose To Lower My Risk Of Diabetes
If you are pre-diabetic or diabetic, then losing 5-10 percent of your body weight can help improve your blood sugar numbers. If you are pre-diabetic and can lose this weight, you will lower your risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent.
In addition to helping you lose weight, exercise can improve your blood sugar numbers. Learn more about our weight loss services, as well as management of metabolic disorders.
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Control High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is another risk factor for diabetes. A 2015 meta-analysis reviewed the medical records of more than 4 million healthy adults. It compared these data with those from studies reporting new onset diabetes and high blood pressure. The analysis indicated that people with elevated blood pressure have a higher risk of diabetes.
The ADA explains that people can help control high blood pressure by:
- choosing foods that contain less than 400 milligrams of sodium per serving
- using spices and herbs rather than salt to flavor food
- eating whole grain breads and cereals
- speaking with a doctor about medications that reduce blood pressure
- limiting alcohol consumption and asking a doctor whether it is best to avoid alcohol entirely
blood sugar levels fall or rise unpredictably. This mind-body connection means that if mental health improves, physical health may also improve, including bodily processes that can lead to type 2 diabetes. Consequently, it is beneficial to find ways to relax.
A 2018 study notes that stress increases the risk of diabetes and that yoga effectively reduces stress. The authors reviewed the body of research on the topic and found that various yoga techniques produce diabetes-related benefits. These benefits included lower blood glucose levels due to increased insulin production or reduced insulin resistance. Insulin resistance refers to body cells not easily taking up blood sugar.
The program :
Dont Smoke Or Quit If You Do
According to the CDC, smokers are 30 to 40 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who dont have this habit. Smoking increases inflammation and disrupts the way your cells function, potentially interfering with how your body uses insulin, notes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . If you do develop type 2 diabetes, continuing to smoke can further elevate your risk for diabetes complications such as stroke and heart disease, per the CDC and FDA.
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Heart Disease Risk And Diabetes
Heart disease can be a serious diabetes complication. Keep an eye on your risk by getting these ABCs checked:A1C level. This is a measure of your average blood sugar control for the last 2-3 months. You may need it checked two or more times a year. Talk to your doctor about setting a goal.Blood pressure. Goal: below 140/80 mm Hg.Cholesterol. Goal: LDL to 100 mg/d or lessl; HDL above 40 mg/dl in men and greater than 50 in women; and triglycerides below 150 mg/dl.
What About Natural Sweeteners
Though some natural sweeteners, like honey and maple syrup, are generally not as heavily processed as table sugar or corn syrup, they are still relatively pure sources of sugar and contain almost no fiber.
Many other sweeteners, marketed as being natural, should also be considered added sugar. These include agave syrup, coconut sugar and cane sugar, to name a few.
Therefore, they should be consumed in moderation like all added sugars, ideally making up less than 10% of your daily calories .
While added sugars are strongly linked to the development of diabetes, natural sugars found in whole fruits and vegetables dont have the same effect.
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How Can Pcos And Type 2 Diabetes Be Treated
“PCOS is a chronic condition, so while there is no ‘cure’, making positive lifestyle changes can go a very long way in managing PCOS and its symptoms, including insulin resistance, both in the short term and longer term,” explains Dr Bajekal.
Dr Nitu Bajekal and nutritionist Rohini Bajekal’s book, Living PCOS Free, is available for pre-order from 1st September and will be sold in all major bookshops from February 2022:
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