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How To Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

While increasingly common in India, type 2 diabetes is largely preventable. Here’s how you can take measures to reduce your risk of developing it.

India has one of the highest numbers of adult diabetes patients—the second largest in the world. In fact, as per the Indian Council of Medical Research, ‘a matter of immense concern is the progressive lowering of age at which type 2 diabetes is presenting, with an inflection in disease prevalence becoming apparent in the age group of 25–34 years in both urban and rural areas.’ This alarming trend indicates a lack of awareness about diabetes, limited access to treatment across the country, unaffordability of treatment, and the need for trained diabetes educators.

While type 1 diabetes is influenced by genetic factors and usually appears early on in one’s life, type 2 diabetes develops over time and has been linked to lifestyle habits. This means that the onset of type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed through lifestyle changes and professional guidance. Most people will be categorised as prediabetic before a type 2 classification; prediabetes usually means higher than normal blood sugar, but not high enough to be type 2.

Prediabetes is, unfortunately, extremely common, but it can be controlled. Taking action against this can also lower one’s risk of developing heart diseases. Here are some steps to lower one’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes and preventing it.

Manage your weight

Being overweight increases one’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Thus, losing weight in that case will tremendously improve your health and reduce the probability of getting type 2 diabetes. The first step is to set an achievable weight goal with the assistance of your healthcare practitioner and a nutritionist, and make the necessary changes from there.

Exercise

Exercising often will not only help you maintain a healthy weight, but it will reduce blood pressure and help your body utilise insulin and absorb glucose more efficiently. Aim to exercise for at least 150 minutes per week—this can include walking or cycling, or any other exercise that you can commit to.

Diet

What you eat plays an important role in the development and prevention of type 2 diabetes. Most people don’t read the nutritional labels on products and are inadvertenly consuming excess sugar. Making balanced food choices can have an overall beneficial effect on your health. While you should consult a nutritionist who can help you make informed choices, there are some simple steps to start with. Avoid refined carbohydrates and instead choose high fibre carbs like wholewheat pasts, oats, fruit and vegetables, and wholegrains. Extremely processed foods like certain meats have also been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, as well as cardiovascular problems. Instead, get your protein intake from eggs, oily fish, nuts, chicken and pulses.

Avoid smoking and excess alcohol

Those who smoke are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Excess alcohol intake has also been linked to the same increased risk, which is why it’s vital to form and encourage healthy habits.

Get tested

The best way to protect yourself is to get regularly tested. A simple blood test will help you understand your risk, and help you monitor your progress as you take measures to prevent type 2 diabetes.

At Seva At Home, we produce a wealth of free health information to help individuals and families live healthier, happier lives. This has been produced by independent research carried out by the Seva At Home team. This information is not a replacement for medical advice. Please consult your physician for relevant medical diagnosis and advice.

To learn more about our healthcare services in India,contact our caregiving team today at +1 (603) 718-4828 if you are based in North America, or at 1800-120-800-003 if you are based in India.

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