Diabetes has become an epidemic worldwide, hence, it is important that we take steps to prevent or reverse it.
The World Health Organization ( WHO) projected the global diabetic population to increase from 171 million in year 2000 to 366 million by 2030. The top 3 countries with the highest population of diabetics are India, China and USA.
Diabetes is a disease whereby the body cannot control blood sugar level. The body regulates blood sugar by a hormone, insulin, which is produced by the pancreas.
There are 3 types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes.
- Type I diabetes occur when the pancreas is destroyed by infection to specific virus or bacteria, exposure to food toxin or genetic. The pancreas cannot product insulin, so insulin injection is needed.
- Type 2 diabetes happens when the body cells does not response to insulin. The body is said to be insulin resistant. In response, the body produces even more insulin to control blood sugar. Over time and overproduction of insulin exhaust the pancreas and it eventually cannot produce insulin anymore.
- Gestational diabetes occurs to women during pregnancy.
Watch out for the following signs, which signal possible risk of the disease:
- Overweight or obese – Body Mass Index (BMI) is 25-35
- Elevated blood sugar level – Fasting blood sugar level measured 110-126 mg/dL is considered as pre-diabetic while >126 mg / dL is diabetic.
- High blood pressure – Blood pressure measured >120/80
- High Cholesterol – Total cholesterol is >240 mg/dL and LDL is 160-189 mg/dL
- Family history of diabetes
- Sedentary lifestyle
Why is it important to prevent or reverse diabetes?
Diabetes can lead to the following health issues and complications:
- Damage to retina, the light-sensitive tissues lining the inner surface of the eye, causing blindness.
- Damage to the nerve ending causing the feet to be insensitive to pain. Wounded feet becomes infected and when it is not treated properly can lead to gangrene and amputation.
- Diabetes accelerates the deposition of fatty plaque inside the blood vessel wall leading to heart disease.
- Increase the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and heart disease and kidney failure.
3 Key things you should do to prevent or reverse diabetes
First and foremost important step is to reduce your weight. Numerous studies have shown that a modest reduction in body weight can produce a significant drop in blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar level.
1) Change your diet:
- Cut down on food portion. Limit your total calories intake per day to not more than 2500 calories.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. At least 5 portion per day.
- Cut down on processed food, fast food and sugary drinks.
- Replace simple carbohydrates (white bread, white sugar, pasta) with complex carbohydrates ( brown rice, whole grains )
- Replace red meat with fish, especially, salmon, tuna and mackerel.
- Drink plenty of plain water: 30 ml for every 1 kg of your body weight.
Walking is a great, easy way to prevent or reverse diabetes. Walk 3 000 steps a day, 5 times a week will significantly reduce the chance of diabetes according to British Medical Journal.
3) Cut smoking and avoid alcohol.
Alcohol intake contributes to increase triglyceride and body fat. Smoking increases the risk of complications.
If you have the above risk factors, then you should take actions right away to reverse the condition. Don’t ignore it and risk having your legs amputated. I heard too many sad stories of amputee’s regret for not making any effort to change their lifestyle.
Do you have any ideas on how to prevent or reverse diabetes? Do share them.
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