Learn How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes During National Diabetes Month
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has been recognizing November as Diabetes Awareness Month since 1975. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one in 10 adults in the U.S. have diabetes, and the rate of kids and adolescents being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is at an all-time high.
The good news is that there are ways to prevent and manage type 2 diabetes. So, this November, take some time to learn more about diabetes and the steps you and your family can take to prevent or manage it.
What is Diabetes?
There are two types of diabetes, named “type 1” and “type 2.” Type 1 diabetes is most often diagnosed in early childhood. Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent it because it results from the pancreas’s inability to make insulin.
The signs of type 1 diabetes can show up suddenly. You might notice your child suddenly losing weight, even though they are eating normally. They might become fatigued and moody. Many patients have to urinate a lot more frequently and are thirsty all the time. Your child might suddenly start wetting the bed.
Take these signs seriously, as untreated type 1 diabetes can lead to severe organ damage.
You can get diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at any age. It’s caused by insulin resistance that develops when the body becomes unable to use insulin correctly. As a result, blood sugar (also called glucose) levels get too high. People with elevated blood sugar that is not yet diabetes are considered to have prediabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factors
According to the National Institute of Health, these risk factors might increase your chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Being obese
- Being older than 45
- Having a family history of type 2 diabetes
- Having high blood pressure
- Having low levels of good (HDL) cholesterol
- Not being physically active
- Having a history of stroke, heart disease, or depression
- Having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Diabetes and Fertility
Having diabetes can impact fertility for men and women if it is not controlled. Women’s menstrual cycles might be irregular or stop entirely. Men may have lower testosterone levels along with erectile dysfunction.
By taking steps to control and manage diabetes, both men and women can reduce their risk of experiencing infertility.
If you have diabetes and get pregnant, make sure you are under a doctor’s care. They may want to monitor your blood sugar levels throughout your pregnancy.
Preventing Type 2 Diabetes
Living a healthy lifestyle is the best way to manage and prevent type 2 diabetes.
When it comes to exercise, it’s about more than weight control. Being active has been shown to increase your cells’ insulin sensitivity and reduce the amount of insulin your body needs to maintain your blood sugar levels.
As for food, reduce processed foods and carbs from your diet and replace them with whole foods.
Here are a few ideas to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle even when you’re super busy.
- Take a 15-minute family walk after dinner
- Enroll in a fun fitness class with friends
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator one extra time a day
- Park farther away when you’re running errands
- Add one more vegetable to every meal
- Start your day with a glass of lemon water
- Eat dinner as a family to encourage healthy eating habits
Help Your Kids Develop Healthy habits
Recent estimates show that one in three American adults have prediabetes, yet 84 percent of them don’t even know it. If you haven’t been tested for diabetes, schedule an appointment with your doctor, especially if you have any risk factors listed above.
In addition, help your kids develop healthy habits now that they can carry on throughout their lives. Start with our all-natural multi-vitamin ABCs & 123s to ensure your child gets the nutrients they need to grow up strong and healthy, without any artificial preservatives.