Type 2 diabetes is when your body is not able to properly use insulin. This is a hormone made by the pancreas that helps your  cells absorb glucose and then convert it to energy. According to the  Center for Disease Control (CDC) there are approximately 86  million Americans who have diabetes. That is one in every three people. Out of this number, nine out of ten individuals don’t  know they have the disease. Complications from the illness can include heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and nerve damage. This is especially a concern when the disease goes un-diagnosed.Type 2 diabetes can be avoided with simple lifestyle changes.

Managing your weight is an important step in preventing this illness. The National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIH-NIDDK) have prevention guidelines that  include losing five to seven percent of your body weight. This would be approximately ten to fourteen pounds for a person weighing 200 LBS. This weight loss can be accomplished with thirty minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week, and eating the right foods. Eat a wide variety of low fat, low carbohydrate foods and reduce your overall calorie intake. Also increase the amount of fiber in your diet with food sources including vegetables such as cauliflower, green beans, peas, and broccoli. Although you need to reduce your fat intake, you should be replacing the “bad” fat with high-quality fats such as avocado’s, palm & olive oils, organic pasteurized eggs, and grass-fed meats.

There are other lifestyle changes you can make. One way is to reduce your stress. This can be done with exercise, yoga, and meditation. Taking time out of your busy schedule to do the things you enjoy can also help reduce stress. Hobbies such as scrap booking, photography or playing a musical instrument are  great for this. So are outdoor activities such as hiking, nature walks, cross-country skiing, kayaking, or a friendly game of golf. Using these techniques cannot only help you to avoid type  2 diabetes, but can be beneficial to all areas of your life.

There are several risks factors for developing the disease. These include being older than 45; overweight; have a family history of diabetes, especially a parent or sibling; don’t exercise regularly; you are a woman that had gestational diabetes or were diagnosed with poly cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS); or if you are an African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian;
or Asian American.  If have one of these factors it’s important to talk to your doctor and get tested.

Type 2 diabetes can be avoided, all it takes is a few simple steps. The first step is talking to your doctor to make sure that you are healthy enough to make the lifestyle changes necessary. The second is to include these changes in your everyday routine. These steps can not only help you to avoid type 2 diabetes but to avoid other diseases, and help you live an overall healthier lifestyle.

1.CDC. “About Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes”
2 June 2016 http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/prediabetes-type2/index.html

2.NIH-NIDDK. “Small Steps. Big Rewards. Your GAME PLAN to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes.”
2 June 2016 http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-communication-programs/ndep/health-care-professionals/game-plan/small-steps/Pages/publicationdetail.aspx#atriskchecklist

3.Mercola.com. “Tips to Avoid Diabetes”
2 June 2016 http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/05/16/tips-to-prevent-diabetes.aspx