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How Can You Prevent Diabetes Mellitus?

How Can You Prevent Diabetes Mellitus?

Last Reviewed : 01/05/2021
How Can You Prevent Diabetes Mellitus?

  • Extensive research has provided effective steps for containing diabetes mellitus
  • DASH and Mediterranean meals are increasingly gaining traction because they have proven to curb the risk of developing diabetes mellitus
  • Lifestyle modifications and seeing a doctor for checkups are the most effective ways of preventing the ailment

With diabetes mellitus cases increasing around the world, it has become imperative for everyday people to learn to avert the ailment. Just before looking at the preventive measures, a simple description of Type 2 diabetes will be useful. You see, Type 2 diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance, hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), and impairment of insulin secretion. Extensive research has culminated in medical experts being able to predict Type 2 diabetes pattern. As a result, people can take those tried-and-tested steps to prevent the disease. With that being said, certain people are considered to be at high risk of developing the ailment and ought to take these measures seriously. These are obese people and people with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and impaired fasting glucose (IGF).

 

Goals of Diabetes Prevention

This guide aims to help readers:

  • Prevent or slow down the development of diabetes mellitus and its related ailments
  • Preserve beta-cell function
  • Slash the cost of getting diabetes care
  • Avert microvascular complications
  • Slow down microvascular complications

Moving on, it is noteworthy that the tidbits you will learn from this guide will be in accordance with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) guidelines. Let’s set the ball rolling.

 

10 Tips for Preventing Diabetes Mellitus

To kick diabetes out of your life for good, you have to stick to the tidbits below:

  1. Go for the test: Does the A1C test mean anything to you? Well, if you haven’t come across that term before, you should know that it is a test designed to help people determine their blood sugar level. With a benchmark of 7%, you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes complications if your result goes above the percentage. On the other hand, you are okay when it is significantly lower than the figure.
  2. Manage your weight: Another method of keeping the health condition at bay is managing your weight well. If you have excessive body fat, you have something to worry about. It even gets worse when the fat accumulates around your abdomen. The reason is that such a condition can potentially rev up your body’s resistance to insulin secretion. That said, the ADA recommends a modest weight loss of 5% to 10%.
  3. Exercise regularly: In agreement with the ADA, the Community Preventive Services Task Force encourages everyone at risk of developing diabetes to embrace exercises. When you undergo physical activities for 30 minutes every day, you will considerably reduce your blood glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Once you achieve that, you are on the right track.
  4. Eat healthy meals: Making balanced diets a part of your routine is something you should take seriously to kick Type 2 diabetes out of your life for good. The ADA recommends DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) and Mediterranean meals. Also, ensure that you eliminate red meat, trans-fat, and sweet from your diet. Just like the DASH meals, Mediterranean-styled meals contain veggies, fish, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts, and olive oils. Once you eat those, nothing is stopping you!
  5. Limit alcohol intake: Admittedly, many people find it pretty uneasy to live without alcohol because the booze has become their perfect definition of fun. More often than not, they are seen drinking at the bar with friends day in, day out. If you fall into this category, you ought to know that drinking alcohol leads to weight gain and blood pressure rise. If you must drink every day, guys shouldn’t take two standard drinks. Similarly, women should not take more than one drink every day.
  6. Eliminate processed foods: In today’s world, people are too busy to make their meals. As a result, they end up settling for processed foods. However, such meals are usually high in salt, fat, and kilojoules. If you continuously eat such meals, you are increasing the risk of developing diabetes mellitus. Therefore, you should avoid it.
  7. Quick smoking: If you are a heavy smoker, you should know that you are putting yourself in harm’s way as far as Type 2 diabetes is concerned. Several studies have shown that smokers are twice more likely to develop the disease than nonsmokers. Sure, this is a wake-up call to kick the habit for good because smoking cessation lowers systemic inflammation.
  8. Control your blood pressure: Perhaps you didn’t know: Blood pressure is the pressure from blood circulation against the blood vessel’s walls. It mounts when the heart pumps blood through the circulatory system. So, a need exists to keep the pressure in check. To achieve that, observe most of the measures identified earlier. For example, you should exercise regularly, eat balanced diets, and maintain a healthy weight. Still, as opposed to over-the-counter medications, you may need prescription drugs. Metformin is an example of pharmacologic therapy. Given the side-effects of certain medicines (such as liraglutide, orlistat, and pioglitazone), they should not be used in patients with IGT and IGF.  
  9. Keep cardiovascular disease in check: Studies have shown that cardiovascular (related to the heart and blood vessels) diseases and diabetes share many risk factors. In other words, once you keep your cardiovascular disease in check, you are automatically controlling Type 2 diabetes. To make that happen, you should exercise regularly, eat healthy meals, and take drugs (according to your physician’s prescription).
  10. See your doctor for checkups: While this shares a similar semblance as the first step, they are not the same. Indeed, you should often see your doctor as you grow older. The essence is to get professional counsel. Plus, you will check your blood glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure. The health expert will tell you the do’s and don’ts of achieving healthy living as you approach the twilight of your life.

 

Conclusion

In this guide, you have seen the 10 time-tested methods of preventing diabetes mellitus. No doubt, averting the disease chiefly boils down to lifestyle modifications (eating right and exercising regularly). There is no gainsaying that seeing your doctor is crucial because they help monitor the patient’s progress. Once you can achieve all the tidbits explained in this piece, you are certainly on the diabetes-free track. Interestingly enough, taking those steps means you are not only preventing diabetes mellitus, but you are also averting other ailments like cardiovascular diseases. These ADA guidelines have saved millions of people in the United States and around the world. Defer no time because delays have dangerous consequences. Take that step today!

 

References

  1. Perreault L, Pan Q, Mather KJ, et al. Effect of regression from prediabetes to normal glucose regulation on long-term reduction in diabetes risk: results from the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study. Lancet 2012; 379:2243.
  2. Hemmingsen B, Gimenez-Perez G, Mauricio D, et al. Diet, physical activity or both for prevention or delay of type 2 diabetes mellitus and its associated complications in people at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2017;12:CD003054.
  3. Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group, Knowler WC, Fowler SE, et al. 10-year follow-up of diabetes incidence and weight loss in the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study. Lancet 2009; 374:1677.
  4. Balk EM, Earley A, Raman G, et al. Combined Diet and Physical Activity Promotion Programs to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes Among Persons at Increased Risk: A Systematic Review for the Community Preventive Services Task Force. Ann Intern Med 2015; 163:437.
  5. Naci H, Ioannidis JP. Comparative effectiveness of exercise and drug interventions on mortality outcomes: meta-epidemiological study. BMJ 2013; 347: f5577.
  6. Li G, Zhang P, Wang J, et al. Cardiovascular mortality, all-cause mortality, and diabetes incidence after lifestyle intervention for people with impaired glucose tolerance in the Da Qing Diabetes Prevention Study: a 23-year follow-up study. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2014; 2:474.
  7. Lindström J, Ilanne-Parikka P, Peltonen M, et al. Sustained reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes by lifestyle intervention: follow-up of the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study. Lancet2006; 368:1673.

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