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Diabetes Prevention

Diabetes Prevention

Many people do not know this; type 2 diabetes is preventable. Even if you are already prediabetic, there are things you can take to keep your sugar level from progressing to diabetes.

Can Diabetes Be Prevented?

The answer is Yes! By simply making changes in your eating habits and adjusting the frequency with which you do physical activity, you can keep type 2 diabetes at a safe distance. However, for type 1 diabetes, there is currently no known way to prevent its development.

One truth you must be aware of is that your commitment and dedication to the process are required. Intentionally making lifestyle changes is the first step that can help prevent type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease. If you discover that you are at risk of developing the disease, you must take proactive steps toward preventing it. You are at high risk if you are obese, have a high cholesterol level, or are from a family with a history of diabetes.

Don’t worry, because these changes you may need to make are easy. We will guide you through it—stay with us.

The Types of Diabetes and Their Risk Factors

There are three suggested and working proactive approaches to diabetes prevention, namely: 

Primary Prevention

Secondary Prevention

Tertiary prevention

Primary Prevention

The aim of the primary preventive approach is to stop diabetes from happening at all. It involves practicing healthy behavior on a daily basis. These healthy behavior include:

Secondary Prevention

After diabetes has been diagnosed, it is still possible to revert the blood sugar level to a non-diabetic range or a prediabetic range. This is the aim of secondary prevention. Secondary prevention refers to the measures that should be taken after diabetes has been diagnosed. It involves

Modifying one’s way of life is important, but secondary prevention often requires additional medical care to be effective. There will be a need to control some medically related risk factors.

Some Examples of Risk Factors That Require Medical Care

Hypertension

Aside from increasing the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease, hypertension is also linked to worsening diabetic ocular and kidney complications.

The incidence of hypertension is 2–3 times greater in people with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) compared to those who do not have it and much higher in certain racial and ethnic groupings. With increasing age, NIDDM patients are more likely to have hypertension. Thus, hypertension should be identified and treated early in the hopes of reducing the risk of diabetes developing as a secondary condition.

Non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and hypertension are linked to insulin resistance and obesity. Modifying one’s lifestyle in an effort to lose weight might improve one’s blood pressure and insulin sensitivity.

If pharmaceutical treatment is necessary, it is recommended to begin with medications such as calcium antagonists, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and alpha-blockers that do not negatively impact glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, and serum lipid concentrations.

Hyperlipidemia

Variations in blood lipid and lipoprotein concentrations, both quantitatively and qualitatively, are related to non-insulin-dependent diabetes.

Coronary heart disease and peripheral vascular disease are linked to increased levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), total triglyceride, and decreased levels of good cholesterol (HDL).

Lipid abnormality screening is an important part of secondary prevention for people with NIDDM. Although dietary and lifestyle changes should be attempted initially, specialized lipid-lowering medicine should be used if they fail to improve symptoms.

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-lowering medication may help minimize macrovascular problems in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus; however, the evidence is weak.

Patients with diabetes who participated in the Helsinki Heart Study and were assigned to active medication (gemfibrozil) had a significantly reduced risk of coronary heart disease than those assigned to placebo. However, the results were not strong enough to be considered statistically significant.

Glycemic Management

People with insulin-dependent diabetes (IDDM) can reduce their risk of developing microvascular symptoms of diabetes by as much as 50-60% if they maintain tight control over their blood sugar levels.

The United Kingdom Prospective Diabetic Study in 1994 suggests a strong association between glycemia and retinopathy.

Improvements in glycaemic management and their impact on macrovascular disease are less specific.

Microalbuminuria

Microalbuminuria occurs when the albumin excretion rate is 20–200 pg/min, below the cutoff for proteinuria on standard dip-stick testing of the urine.

A further indicator of early cardiovascular morbidity in NIDDM is microalbuminuria. IDDM has a higher prevalence of microalbuminuria as a predictor of ESRD than NIDDM. This is possible because people with NIDDM are more susceptible to dying from cardiovascular disease than end-stage renal failure.

Improving glycemic management and treating concomitant hypertension in microalbuminuric people with IDDM reduces albumin excretion rates and slows the onset of renal impairment.

The advantages, if any, exhibited in NIDDM participants with microalbuminuria remain to be seen. There is evidence that angiotensin inhibitors, particularly those targeting angiotensin II, may help people with and without hypertension control their blood pressure by decreasing their albumin excretion rates in individuals with insulin-dependent diabetes.

Tertiary Prevention

The objective of tertiary prevention is to protect the body against the different complications associated with diabetes. It involves adequately educating those at high risk, as well as newly diagnosed patients, on the need and ways to implement healthy behaviors for effective diabetes management.

Examples of complications associated with diabetes

Nephropathy

Diagnosing and treating microalbuminuria is possibly the most significant prophylactic therapy for preventing the development of nephropathy.

After nephropathy has developed, controlling high blood pressure is critical. Dietary factors may also influence the pace of deterioration in renal function.

In non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), the pace of decrease in renal function is associated with systolic blood pressure. The fall in the incidence of IDDM may be slowed by treating hypertension.

When used by patients with either normotension or hypertension with microalbuminuria, ACE inhibitors delay the impairment of kidney function and the advancement to end-stage organ failure.

There is currently no consensus on the role of these medications in NIDDM patients who have already developed nephropathy.

Routine screening and timely consultation with an ophthalmologist are essential prophylactic approaches for preventing the development of baseline retinopathy to vision loss.

Many cases of diabetes blindness may be avoided if patients were adequately screened and sent to an ophthalmologist on time.

This risk of developing retinopathy increases with the incidence of diabetes.

Distal Limb Amputations

An amputated lower leg is more likely to occur in patients with peripheral vascular disease or neuropathy. The early therapy of diabetic foot issues is still severely poor, despite the advantages of frequent chiropody, patient education, quitting smoking, and treating the infection as soon as possible.

NIDDM patients should anticipate at least an annual foot screening as a basic level of treatment. Lower limb amputations and their consequences inflict a heavy social and economic burden on communities but may be mitigated via the early and effective surgical diagnosis, detection of the at-risk foot, and management of related risk factors.

Generally, Diabetes Prevention and Management Involve The Following:

1. Losing extra weight

Extra weight will make it harder for the body to regulate sugar. Insulin resistance is more common in people with extra weight since the body’s cells cannot use insulin, which eventually leads to diabetes. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that people with prediabetes lose at least 7% to 10% of their body weight to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. You should talk to your doctor about setting realistic goals-such as losing 1-2 pounds per week.

2. Physical activity

Regular physical activity will give you the following benefits while maintaining your general health

According to a study, the average percentage of hemoglobin A1C dropped from 9.6 to 8.6 after only four months of an exercise program.

Examples of Low-Impact Aerobic Exercises

Walking

This is a good type of exercise, to begin with. You can start slowly and walk around your neighborhood. You can spice things up by walking through a natural reserve. You can increase your pace over time. Walking will keep you healthy, energized, and motivated. Bear in mind that there may not be restrooms in nature reserves.

Swimming

You can join a gym or a swimming club if you do not have access to a swimming pool where you live. Never swim alone, even if you are a good swimmer! Also, check if there are lifeguards on duty before you start swimming. This will make swimming safer for you.

Bike Riding

You can use a stationary bike or a regular bicycle to exercise; a stationary bike is more convenient because it enables you to exercise indoors or during bad weather. However, the disadvantage of a stationary bike is that you may quickly get bored. To avoid this, you can get a regular bicycle and ride in clear and cool weather.

Water Aerobics

Water aerobics is great for Crohn’s disease. The easiest way to learn how to do these types of exercises is to join a water aerobics class. Amongst other things, it can also be a fun way to socialize and help reduce stress.

Resistance Exercises

Resistance exercises are those activities that help to increase muscle and bone strength. Joining a gym is usually the best strategy for people who don’t own the right exercise equipment. A trainer can give you further advice on how to exercise safely.

Always remember not to overdo any exercise.

Examples of Resistance Exercises for People with Crohn’s Disease

Pulling Elastic Bands

This is an excellent way to increase your level of resistance. It involves you pulling elastic bands apart. This particular exercise can exercise many muscles of the body at a time.

Lifting Weights

This does not only help to build muscle, but it also helps reduce inflammation in the body.

Squats

Squats work the gluteal muscles and hamstrings at the back of your leg.

Push-Ups

This is a good way to increase the strength of your upper body, including your chest muscles, shoulders, and arms.

Back Extensions

These exercises are a great way to improve your posture while strengthening your back muscles at the same time.

Abdominal Crunches

The abdominal area muscles, including the obliques and rectus abdominis muscles, are strengthened with abdominal crunches.

Meditative Exercises

Stress is the number one drainer of energy. It has a negative effect on the body and is often related to flare-ups of symptoms in people with Crohn’s disease. 

Meditative exercises will help you relax and stay motivated in life. This is why choosing meditative exercises may be very useful and beneficial. Examples of meditative exercises for Crohn’s disease are:

Tai Chi

This is frequently regarded as a good exercise for people of all fitness levels; it entails specific movements and deep breathing.

Yoga

Yoga is one of the most beneficial meditative exercises for people with Crohn’s disease. It will relax the body and train the mind to manage the pain better. 

Some Beneficial Physical Activities That Are Not Really Exercises

Even if you do not wish to begin a specific type of exercise, there are some activities that can help you become more active. Gardening, housework, and dancing are a few examples. Gardening is a fun hobby that gets you outside while also working on your muscles. These simple everyday activities can be combined with the types of exercises mentioned above for better health.

The Importance of Sleep Along With Exercise

Good quality sleep is as essential as exercising for those living with Crohn’s disease. Sleep enhances brain performance, mood, and overall health. Not getting enough quality sleep on a regular basis increases the risk of a variety of diseases and disorders.

Getting enough sleep is critical for people with Crohn’s disease because it relaxes the body and reduces stress. It is especially important to get enough rest if you are experiencing a flare-up and are not feeling well. Remember to include sleep and regular exercise as part of your Crohn’s disease management strategy.

Medical and Dietary Treatment for Crohn’s Disease

In addition to the exercises mentioned above, you should also try your best to follow the medical advice of your doctor. Here are some important dietary and medical tips worth knowing:

Immune System Regulating Medicines

The mainstay of treatment now is the use of immunomodulators and biologics. Steroids are only used as rescue therapy. Seek the advice of your doctor before taking any drug that has an effect on your immune system.

Bowel Control Medicines

Anti-diarrheal and anti-spasmodic medicine are sometimes required to help the intestines when you experience diarrhea and cramps.

Antimicrobials

Bacterial infections can worsen the symptoms of Chron’s disease. There may be a need to take antibiotics when there are indications of an infection.

Surgery

There are cases where surgical intervention is needed, and the person may need an ileostomy or colostomy. Discuss with your doctor to learn more.

Diet Changes

Changes in what you eat may be necessary when they begin to worsen your symptoms. What changes you make may vary depending on the nature of your Crohn’s disease. Check with your doctor for more information on diet suggestions.

Conclusion

After consulting with their doctor, people with Crohn’s disease can exercise when they feel well enough. Low-impact aerobic, resistance, and meditative exercises are the most beneficial. Remember that getting enough sleep is just as important as exercising.

References

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DR. RAE OSBORN

Dr. Rae Osborn was educated in South Africa and the United States. She holds Honors Bachelor of Science degrees in Zoology and Entomology, and Masters of Science in Entomology from the University of Natal in South Africa. She has received a PhD in Quantitative Biology from the University of Texas at Arlington as well as an AAS Degree in Information Network Specialist and an AAS in Computer Information Systems from Bossier Parish Community College in Louisiana.
She was a tenured Associate Professor of Biology in the United States. She has published in peer-reviewed journals and has taught college-level courses. Currently she works as a freelance writer and editor in the areas of medicine, health, biology, and computer science.

<h2 style="color: #3f3b36; font-family: Merriweather, serif; font-size: 24px; font-weight: 400; font-style: italic;">DR. RAE OSBORN</h2>

DR. RAE OSBORN

Dr. Rae Osborn was educated in South Africa and the United States. She holds Honors Bachelor of Science degrees in Zoology and Entomology, and Masters of Science in Entomology from the University of Natal in South Africa. She has received a PhD in Quantitative Biology from the University of Texas at Arlington as well as an AAS Degree in Information Network Specialist and an AAS in Computer Information Systems from Bossier Parish Community College in Louisiana.
She was a tenured Associate Professor of Biology in the United States. She has published in peer-reviewed journals and has taught college-level courses. Currently she works as a freelance writer and editor in the areas of medicine, health, biology, and computer science.