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Preventing Diabetes

Did you know there are actually steps you can take to prevent diabetes? Learning how to prevent diabetes can keep you from joining the nearly 26 million Americans who already suffer from the disease.

What exactly is diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease characterized by elevated blood glucose levels. Diabetes is characterized by the body’s inability to produce enough (if any) insulin, which results in a buildup of sugar in the blood. Once a person is diagnosed with diabetes, they are required to follow strict dietary guidelines, and may require lifelong oral medications and sometimes even injectable insulin to manage their blood sugar. If diabetes goes untreated, it can lead to serious health complications such as heart failure, kidney failure, blindness and even death.

Symptoms of diabetes include:

- Frequent urination - Excessive thirst or hunger - Sudden weightloss - Tingling or numbness in the hands and feet - Exhaustion - Sudden vision changes

How can you prevent diabetes?

There are millions of people who are already at risk for developing diabetes. Simply making these lifestyle changes can help prevent or even delay the onset of diabetes before it can progress:

Drink Coffee or Tea: Good news for all you coffee and tea drinkers out there! Studies show that plant-based nutrients found in both of these beverages can significantly reduce your risk of diabetes (just keep the amount of sugar you add to a minimum…)

Exercise: Physical activity can greatly reduce your risk of diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity. Even one exercise session per week is beneficial!

Eat Right: A heart-healthy diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables and healthy fats will greatly help regulate your blood sugar and maintain an ideal cholesterol level.

Doctor Visits: Be sure to schedule routine visits with your doctor to discuss any other risk factors that could contribute to diabetes.

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