When it comes to most diseases, there are many risk factors for developing type II diabetes. Some of these are what health professionals call modifiable risk factors, and some are not modifiable. Modifiable means it’s something that can be changed — such as weight, nutrition, smoking, alcohol consumption, and other habits. Non-modifiable risk factors include things like heredity (type II diabetes seems to occur more frequently in some families), age, and ethnicity, as previously reported by the Inquisitr.
Unlike type I diabetes, which is an auto-immune disorder in which the body attacks the pancreas and destroys its ability to make insulin, type II diabetes develops gradually over time, according to The Greenville News. This usually begins with insulin resistance. This means it takes more and more insulin for the body to be able to utilize glucose and transfer it from the bloodstream to cells. Over time, the pancreas can just cease functioning from so much use, or produce some insulin, but not adequate amounts to stabilize blood sugar.
While there’s nothing anyone can do about heredity, there is plenty that people can do about other factors. Staying within a healthy range for your height, exercising moderately five days a week for 40 minutes each, and eating nutritious, fiber-rich and low-sugar foods can greatly delay the onset of type II diabetes. Exercise actually helps the body decrease insulin resistance, according to U.S. News, while burning extra glucose, and staying within a normal weight means that there are less cells that the pancreas must provide insulin for. While none of these lifestyle changes are easy, studies have shown that even a very moderate weight loss, such as ten percent of your body weight, can have significant positive impacts on both blood pressure and blood glucose levels.
Many people think that there is no hope once they are diagnosed with diabetes, but this is not true. If proper dietary and exercise guidelines are followed, it’s very possible to keep blood glucose levels at normal or near-normal levels, which also will avoid the complications of diabetes. The complications of uncontrolled diabetes are serious and numerous: blindness, wounds that don’t heal and often lead to amputations, kidney failure resulting in dialysis, heart disease and reproductive problems. Fortunately, there are many medications that are also available to help the pancreas release or utilize insulin, and some people need to take insulin injections, which are far easier to administer and use than in the past.
The diagnosis of diabetes isn’t a death sentence, but it is definitely a wake up call that one needs to take exceptional care of their health. It is estimated that with the current rates of obesity, approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population will be diagnosed with type II diabetes within the next 20 years.
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