Is Diabetes in your Future? Take Steps Today to Improve Your Health

A disease involving how your body uses insulin and glucose, diabetes is on the rise—and you don’t want to be next! Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas to help break down and use the glucose (sugars) found in the food you eat. Glucose is what gives your body energy to function. The body of someone with diabetes either cannot naturally produce enough insulin to function or the insulin it does produce doesn’t do its job properly. This creates an imbalance of insulin and glucose.

Without enough insulin, there’s too much glucose circulating in the body. This is called high blood sugar and is the main issue at hand with diabetes. This imbalance can damage blood vessels in the heart, eyes, nervous system, and kidneys. Type 2 diabetes is also associated with a variety of other serious medical conditions.
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Someone with prediabetes is living with insulin-glucose levels in the beginning stages of imbalance. There’s more glucose in the blood than normal and cells may be becoming resistant to the effects of insulin.

Depending on your perspective, receiving a diagnosis of prediabetes can be seen as good or bad news. It’s good news, because such a diagnosis means you caught the disease before it becomes full-blown diabetes. With the right steps, there may still be time to stop the damage or even reverse it. Not willing to make the necessary lifestyle changes to stop or reverse the damage? Then your diagnosis is bad news. Because all you have to look forward to is diabetes.

If a blood test reveals that your blood glucose levels are edging toward diabetes, pay attention and take action! By taking healthy steps today, you can delay or prevent the onset of diabetes.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

The greatest risk factor for prediabetes is being overweight, as fat cells are more resistant to insulin than other body cells. Fat carried around your middle is especially dangerous to your health.

Thankfully, it doesn’t take much weight loss to make a big difference. Just losing 5 or 10 percent of your total body weight will reduce your risks. For someone who weighs 200 pounds, that’s 10 to 20 pounds.

Exercise

Physical activity is also related to your risk of diabetes. The less exercise you get, the greater your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. If you’re prediabetic, get moving! Exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight, helps your body use up extra glucose so it’s not circulating in your blood, and increases your cells’ sensitivity to insulin.
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Everyone at all ages should get at least half an hour of physical exercise on most days of the week. If you lead an inactive lifestyle, see your doctor before starting back into exercise. Find an activity you enjoy and one that fits your life. Boot camps are a great option for those who are looking to get back into shape because most of them are 30 minute sessions of functional resistance training, so you’ll not only increase your fitness level, you’ll increase your your overall health.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Stop the progression of diabetes in its tracks by changing what you eat. Monitor your calorie intake, limit carbs and sugars, and eat plenty of fiber-rich foods. Choose lean protein and whole grains. Fill up on fruits and vegetables. No more fast foods or processed foods full of empty carbs. You’re on a mission to avoid diabetes, and to accomplish your mission you’ll have to eat well.

Sleep

Your body needs sleep for energy as well as for healthy insulin management. Studies have shown that either too much sleep (more than nine hours) or too little sleep (less than six hours) each night can lead to insulin resistance. Aim to get eight hours of uninterrupted sleep at night.