Did you know that nearly 84 million people in the United States are living with diabetes? It’s becoming known as the new silent killer. Many people don’t have symptoms until the condition is somewhat advanced.
Here are some facts:
- Approximately, 1 out of 3 Americans have prediabetes
- 9 out of 10 of people with prediabetes don’t realize it.
- Without intervention, 25% of prediabetics will develop full-blown diabetes
- 10% of all trips to the ER are diabetes-related
The key to “outsmarting” diabetes is prevention. The earlier you seek medical care, the better you’ll be able to avoid serious health problems. However, it’s never too late to get help.
Here are your four tips to help avoid developing diabetes:
1. Increase Your Physical Activity Moving your body on a regular basis is an important part of your diabetes prevention plan.
- Control your weight
- Increase insulin sensitivity which
- Decreases your blood sugar
A combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training provides the best results. Incorporate short bursts of exercise into your daily routine. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or park toward the back of the lot and walk farther.
If resistance exercises are new to you, start with a couple of simple moves. Skip the fancy equipment and try a few pull-ups or push-ups.
Remember to talk to your primary care doctor first before starting any new exercise plan.
2. Eat foods rich in fiber Fiber is an important part of any healthy diet. Unfortunately, the average American diet is low in this vital nutrient.
Fiber intake helps:
- Regulate blood sugar levels
- Lower your risk of heart disease
- Decrease overall caloric consumption by making you feel full.
Whole, unprocessed foods are the best sources of fiber. Make sure that your diet contains plenty of fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains.
3. Shed the extra weight Every extra pound you lose over your ideal weight can significantly improve your health. One large study revealed people who lost 7% of their initial weight reduced risk of developing diabetes by 60%.
4. Eat a healthy, balanced diet Avoid fad diets and focus on a “whole food” diet that emphasizes whole grains, lean proteins, and fruits/vegetables. Try to eat limited amounts of or no meat, processed foods or sugar-sweetened beverages.
This is the best approach to a sustainable, healthy and well-balanced nutrition plan that will minimize weight gain and keep your blood sugar stable. Remember to see your primary care doctor for an annual checkup including diabetes screening labs. This is especially important after the age of 45 when the incidence of diabetes significantly increases.
Feel free to visit us at ExpressMD Urgent Care if you are experiencing common diabetes-related symptoms such as excessive thirst, frequent urination, or lightheadedness. We can run some quick labs and begin treatment.