Diabetes is serious yet controllable. Too much glucose in the blood for a very long time can cause Diabetes problems. This high content of glucose in blood called as blood sugar can harm many parts of your body such as heart, blood vessels, eyes and kidneys. You can do many things to prevent or slow down diabetes.
We have summed up top 5 strategies to prevent diabetes:
- Become physically active: Exercise should be combined with a balanced meal plan for prevention of Diabetes. Regular exercise helps the body in responding to insulin, efficiently manages Blood Glucose and also burn calories to help someone lose weight, Brisk walking, jogging, swimming, etc are the best physical activities to start off with.
- Stress Reduction: Sleeping to much or sleeping too less? Both of them can put you at risk of Diabetes. The average time of sleep at night should be 8 hours. Meditation and yoga also helps you to reduce stress. Try deep breathing, take an easy paced walk or enjoy your favourite music. All these activities help reduce stress.
- Healthy Diet: A small frequent meal is better than heavy two time meal. Divide your daily calories into 3 small meals and 3 snacks at 3 hour intervals. Eat a healthy diet with high fibre, low fat, optimal calories for age and complex carbohydrates. Do not over-eat or over-drink as over-eating adds extra calories, which are converted into fat in the body causing insulin intolerance and thus obesity. Have lots of vegetable salad and fruits instead of having a heavy meal. Drink a glass of water 10 minutes before your meal. Eat slowly. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to send a signal to your brain that you’re full.
- Maintain ideal weight: Maintain your body weight, that is, do not gain too much weight above the ideal body weight. Keep BMI (weight in kgs divided by square of height in metres) at around 22- 23. Shed those extra pounds with a healthy, balanced diet. Excess weight burdens your heart and can induce diabetes. And as far as possible, avoid abdominal fat which causes insulin insensitivity leading to DM type II. If obese, try and reduce at least a few kilograms in order to get a head start. Waistline for males should be less than 90, and for females less than 80 cms.
- Preventive check-ups: Even if you feel fine, preventive check-ups for the heart are a must. If you are over 40 or who are overweight/obese or have a family history of diabetes or heart disease, an annual ECG and a TMT (treadmill test) are mandatory. Self risk assessment is also very important. One must try to quit smoking as smoking and diabetes are a dangerous combination. If you quit smoking, you’ll lower your risk for heart attack, stroke, nerve disease, and kidney disease. Your cholesterol and your blood pressure levels may improve. Annual check-ups should be done for early diagnosis of diabetes. Check your blood glucose periodically. Each time you check your blood glucose, write the number in your record book.
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