“Making healthy lifestyle choices can reduce your risk of developing diabetes.”
Practice a healthy lifestyle to help prevent the disease
Did you know that approximately 415 million adults have diabetes? By 2040 this will rise to 642 million, according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). As alarming as those numbers sound, they translate to mean that chances are someone you know will be affected by this disease in the future.
World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by the IDF and the World Health Organization (WHO) as a result of the concerns about this rising epidemic. The theme for 2016 is Eyes on Diabetes. The year will focus on raising awareness about the importance of screening for early diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and treatment.
Fifty percent of people with diabetes are undiagnosed. The IDF’s goal is to achieve one million individual screenings this November with their Test2Prevent initiative. Early detection and treatment can decrease the risk of developing complications.
8 Common Signs and Symptoms
Here are the most common signs and symptoms, according to the American Diabetes Association:
- Urinating often
- Feeling very thirsty
- Feeling very hungry – even though you are eating
- Extreme fatigue
- Blurry vision
- Cuts or bruises that are slow to heal
- Weight loss – even though you are eating more (type 1)
- Tingling, pain or numbness in the hands or feet (type 2)
4 Steps for Prevention
Making healthy lifestyle changes can significantly reduce your risk of developing diabetes. Take a look at these five simple steps from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
1. Manage your weight
Being overweight makes you 20 to 40 times more likely to develop diabetes than someone with a healthy weight. Shedding those extra pounds will help prevent type 2 diabetes if your weight is higher than the healthy range.
2. Start walking – and turn off the television
According to findings from the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study, walking briskly for 30 minutes every day reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 30 percent.
There also seems to be a link between watching television and diabetes. The more time spent in front of the television, the higher the chance of developing diabetes.
3. Improve your diet
Making these dietary changes will also help:
- Choose whole grains over processed carbohydrates.
- Skip the sugary drinks, and choose water, coffee or tea instead.
- Choose good fats instead of bad fats.
- Limit red meat, and avoid processed meat; choose nuts, whole grains, poultry or fish instead.
4. Quit smoking
If you are a smoker, you are 50 percent more likely to develop diabetes than nonsmokers.
I hope you join me in raising awareness! Please share this with your loved ones, and start taking the steps for prevention today.