You may know someone living with diabetes, or you may have diabetes yourself. Millions of people around the world live with diabetes, the disease that cannot be cured yet.
Even you seem totally healthy, you may have prediabetes. Prediabetes may show no symptoms.
Having diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t live a long and healthy life, and no symptoms presented doesn’t mean you are not at risk of diabetes.
This article introduces 3 types of diabetes and offers tips for preventing type 2 diabetes. To see what to do living with diabetes, click here for more info: The Uncurable Disease: Diagnosis, Treatment and Home Care for Diabetes.
Basics of diabetes
Diabetes is a problem with your body that causes blood glucose (sugar) levels to rise higher than normal. In this part, you’ll know about the 3 types of diabetes and the risk factors of them.
Type 1 diabetes
About 5% patients of diabetes have type 1 diabetes. Although it was previously known as juvenile diabetes, type 1 diabetes occurs at every age, in people of every race, and of every shape and size.
The body of a patient with type 1 diabetes does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone to help get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells to provide energy. Type 1 diabetes can be controlled by insulin therapy and other treatments.
You can’t prevent type 1 diabetes because it’s triggered by damages to beta cells in the pancreas which produce insulin. The damages might be caused by the immune system, an injury to the pancreas, or a disease that wipes out the beta cells.
Type 2 diabetes
Most patients with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. The body is not able to produce enough insulin to keep the blood glucose levels normal, leading to type 2 diabetes. The condition that the body does not use insulin properly is called insulin resistance.
Type 2 diabetes is treated with lifestyle changes, oral medications, and insulin.
Gestational diabetes usually occurs around the 24th week of pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is commonly seen among pregnant women with a prevalence of 9.2%.
The cause may be that the hormones produced from the placenta for baby developing block the action of insulin in the mother’s body. In this way, the mother’s body cannot make and use all the insulin it needs.
Having gestational diabetes doesn’t mean you had diabetes before pregnancy, or will have diabetes after giving birth. Mothers with gestational diabetes should follow the doctor’s advice to control blood glucose levels.
People will almost have prediabetes before developing type 2 diabetes. At this stage, the blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
Normal blood sugar levels are less than 100mg/dl, and blood glucose levels of diabetes patients are 126 mg/dl or higher. If your blood sugar glucose levels are between these two figures, you have a prediabetes.
Prediabetes shows no clear symptoms, so you may have it without knowing it. However, prediabetes won’t automatically develop into diabetes. Early treatment can help return the blood glucose levels to the normal range.
Lower your risk of diabetes
Know about the risk factors
Many things can affect your risk for type 2 diabetes. Some of them can be changed by exercises and healthy diets, and other things, like your age and gender, cannot be changed.
Risk factors you can’t change:
- Age. The risk for type 2 diabetes raises as your get older.
- Race. African Americans, Mexican Americans, American Indians, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans have a higher risk for type 2 diabetes.
- Gender. More men have diabetes compared with women.
- Family history. 1/4 to 1/2 patients with diabetes have a family history.
Risk factors you can change include overweight, unhealthy diets and few physical activities.
Lower your risk of diabetes
Physical activities can help you lose weight and lower your blood glucose levels. Some activities you can do:
- Aerobic exercise: brisk walking, swimming, dancing.
- Strength training: lifting light weights. Lifting the bags and walking home from supermarket nearby can help.
- Flexibility exercises: stretching.
- Keep active throughout the day: walking, climbing the stairs, moving around.
Common features of healthy meal plans include fruits and vegetables, lean protein foods, less added sugar, and no Trans Fat.
Recommended foods to prevent diabetes:
- Beans: kidney, pinto, navy or black beans offer vitamins and minerals. But if you use canned beans, drain and rinse them to get rid of as much added salt as possible.
- Dark green leafy vegetables: spinach, collards, and kale can offer vitamin A, C, E, K, iron, calcium and potassium.
- Citrus fruits like Grapes, oranges, lemons and limes.
- Sweet potatoes.
- Berries like blueberries and strawberries.
- Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel, trout, and albacore tuna are good choices.
- Whole grains.
- Milk and yogurt. Be aware to choose yogurt with lower fat and added sugar.
Other tips for you
Keep a record can encourage yourself.
You can lower the risk of prediabetes developing into diabetes by 58% through weight loss and health diets.
You don’t need to lower your weight to the normal level. Lowering 10 to 15 pounds can make a big change.
Take small steps, keep doing.