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Cut your risk of becoming diabetic

diabetic glucose measurement surrounded by fruits and cereal

More than 24 million Americans suffer from some form of diabetes, and that number is predicted to exceed 48 million by the year 2050. To slow this trend, experts have recommended guidelines to help reduce the prevalence of this deadly disease.

What is Diabetes?

A lifelong disease with no cure, diabetes impacts the way your body utilizes blood glucose. With type 1 diabetes, the body generates no insulin, usually because the immune system mistakenly kills beta cells that make insulin.

With type 2 diabetes, the body doesn't respond to insulin properly (insulin resistance), doesn't make enough insulin, or both. While type 1 diabetes is thought to be mostly genetic, type 2 diabetes can occur as a result of unhealthy lifestyle choices.

Preventing Diabetes

Diabetes can lead to an array of health problems that can significantly reduce quality of life. In certain cases, it can even lead to kidney failure, blindness, and loss of limb.

While the exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown, type 2 diabetes is preventable when people adhere to the following guidelines for improved health.

. Keep a healthy weight. Overweight individuals are seven times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. What's more, obesity increases the risk by up to 20 to 40 times that of someone with a healthy weight.

. Get moving. Inactivity is also a leading cause of type 2 diabetes. By exercising your muscles, you can improve their ability to use insulin and absorb glucose.

. Eat whole-grain foods. A mountain of research indicates that refined grains increase the risk of diabetes, while whole grains guard against the disease.

. Ban the can. Studies suggest that just one sugar-sweetened soda per day increases the risk of diabetes by as much as 83 percent.

. Be selective with fats. While trans fats appear to increase the risk of diabetes, polyunsaturated fats from vegetable oils, seeds, and nuts appear to protect against the disease.

. Consume less meat. Research has linked even small amounts of processed meats and red meats with an increased risk of diabetes.

. Stop smoking. Tobacco users are about 50 percent more likely to develop diabetes when compared to people who do not smoke.

Many people are surprised to learn that approximately 6 million Americans suffer from diabetes without even knowing it. If you experience fatigue, unexplained weight loss, frequent urination, increased hunger, unexplained thirst, slow healing, or blurred vision, see your doctor.

While there's no cure for diabetes, proper treatment can drastically reduce the risk of long-term complications and get you back to a healthy, happy life.


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