How to Prevent Diabetes

Diabetes is a very serious disease, and what’s even more scary is that it has begun to be prevalent in children (Type 2 diabetes used to be called “adult-onset” diabetes). Spending on diabetes care was more than $116 billion in 2007 alone.

Diabetes can cause nerve damage, circulation problems and is a leading cause of heart disease. It’s also a leading cause of kidney failure and blindness. While Type 2 diabetes is certainly a serious disease, the good news is that it is can be prevented if you know the steps to take.

What is Diabetes?

The first step to preventing diabetes is understanding what it is and what causes it. Diabetes is a disease that is related to the body’s inability to produce insulin on its own. Insulin is necessary for controlling blood sugar levels and making sure that cells have access to the correct levels of glucose. Type 2 diabetes occurs when insulin-making cells are so exhausted that they can no longer produce insulin. The body then loses its ability to control your blood sugar. Check out Online Courses if you’re interested in learning more by taking classes in health issues.

Preventing Diabetes in Children and Teens

Childhood and adolescence are important for physical development and for developing healthy activities that will persist throughout your child’s life. Here are some habits to follow to reduce your child’s risk of diabetes.

  • Encourage Physical Activity – Being overweight is one of the leading risk factors for diabetes at any age. Overweight people are seven times more likely to develop diabetes. If you are not sure about the health of your child’s weight, you can use the CDC’s BMI calculator to get a better perspective. Besides reducing weight, exercise also improves your overall health and makes your cells better able to absorb glucose. Encourage your children to incorporate more exercise into daily routines. Walks to the bus stop, bike rides around the block, physical education sessions, and organized sports are all great activities.
  • Get a Physical – Your healthcare practitioner will be able to assess your child’s risk of developing diabetes and any other health issues that could be contributing to diabetes symptoms they are having (such as fatigue). Radiology Technician has more information about diagnostic tests used by healthcare professionals and the education and skills involved in these tests.
  • Reduced Refined Carbohydrates – Research has shown that people who eat whole grains every day decrease their chance of diabetes; those that eat refined carbs, on the other hand, increase their risk. Cut down on high glycemic index foods in your child’s diet, such as donuts, white rice, white bread, and sugary breakfast cereals, as these increase the risk of developing diabetes.
  • Reduce Sugary Drinks – High-sugar drinks such as soda and juice have a high glycemic index and can cause weight gain, which is associated with diabetes. Water or tea are better choices.
  • Say Goodbye to Red Meat – Studies have also shown a correlation between red meat consumption and the likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes. Processed meats such as ham and bologna also increase the risk. For alternative sources of protein, turn to tree nuts, beans and white meat.

Sources

Harvard University: School of Public Health (2012)

The Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania (2011)

Helpful Resources From Healthy Kids Blog

[couponazon cat="home"]