Weight gain as a society (North American) has been on the rise for the last 30 years… and with it – Type 2 Diabetes. The association of Type 2 Diabetes and obesity has been something most have noticed.
It has come to the point where when someone is obese it is almost assumed that they either are already suffering from Type 2 Diabetes or they are in the early stages – often referred to as metabolic syndrome.
I don’t think I need to stress the importance of preventing or reversing this form of diabetes too much. The main point I think is important is that avoiding this type of diabetes has been shown to prolong the average lifespan by 15 years. In other words people with Type 2 Diabetes on average live 15 years less than those without it.
This is a critical number to me. 15 years of life is a significant amount of time. Especially since we are speaking of a preventable (and often reversible) condition.
This article is about the basic research for prevention of diabetes. It is about the basics those at risk (or even currently suffering) need to do to step away from this chronic condition for good.
I wanted to put this research out there because I think the point is very powerful – find the motivation to do these three things I will list below – and reduce your risk of Type 2 Diabetes by 56%.
I love that number – reduce your risk by more than 1 in 2. If you know you are currently at risk, have a diagnosis or are currently overweight the steps listed below are what you need to get started on your healing journey.
The best part? The three things I will outline below are all holistic, natural healing methods. No medications required.
First lets talk risk factors.
Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes
If you believe you are at risk for diabetes please reference the list below. These items seem quite vague but that is because there is one major risk factor that is most important (listed first):
- Being overweight
- Abdominal fat distribution
- Inactive – lack of exercise
- Family history – parent or sibling with Type 2 Diabetes
- Race – African, Hispanic, Native and Asian are more at risk than Caucasian
- Age – risk increases after 45
- Prediabetes – poor blood sugar control
- Gestational diabetes – if you suffered with this while pregnant risk goes up
- PCOS – increases risk
You don’t need all of those to be at risk but the more you have the higher the risk. The tricky thing about diabetes is that you don’t need any of the risk factors to develop the condition.
So when will you know you are at risk if that is the case? Lets talk symptoms.
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
If you have any of the symptoms listed below it is important to see your primary care physician as soon as possible. The earlier diabetes is caught the easier it is to reverse.
The testing is simple and quick.
The risk factors are clear.
The treatments are not complicated (but they do take focus, determination and will).
* urinating more often than usual, particularly at night – you are getting up more than usual and you aren’t sure why
* feeling very thirsty – it is unquenchable
* feeling very tired and irritable – you are starting to get used to just feeling bad
* unexplained weight loss (10-20 lbs without trying)
* Excessive hunger – You are eating but it isn’t helping.
* Yeast infections – itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush
* Dry itchy skin (or evening a darkening of the skin around the neck and armpit)
* cuts or wounds that heal slowly – you can’t believe how long it takes for a cut or bruise to heal
* blurred vision – you are seeing more floaters than usual and occasional flashes of light
* Tingling or numbness – your hands and feet are burning, swelling, tingling and numb
These are all reasons to see an ND or MD. It may be time to get your blood sugar tested and begin a natural treatment plan.
The Scientifically Proven Way to Prevent Type Two Diabetes
Lets get to the three scientifically proven ways to prevent diabetes. I hope this list seems “too easy” to you because it is. With a little planning anyone can achieve these three goals.
They are free to do and can extend life by 15 years. It is worth it.
So here we go:
#1: Exercise 150 Minutes Per Week
You know that exercise is good for you. It gives us energy, helps us lose weight and keep it off, causes the release of endorphins that puts us in a better mood, gets our blood pumping keeping our heart healthy and finally helps us bring in fresh oxygen at a high rate.
Did you know that exercise can help you better manage your blood sugar levels? It does. It increases cell sensitivity to insulin and therefore we have to secrete less of it from our pancreas.
This is all to say that according to the research people who do moderate exercise for 150 minutes per week get diabetes significantly less than those who don’t.
By moderate exercise I am speaking about brisk walking, swimming, biking, etc.
This isn’t intense interval training or ultramarathoning. This isn’t crossfit or even weight training (although there are long term benefits to proper weight training).
This is walking for 30 minutes per day five times per week. Period.
#2: Increase Dietary Fiber
Again, this is another relatively simple solution to preventing diabetes – but it really works.
You may be thinking “this is too basic. This can’t work on its own”. It does. And it works well.
Preventing diabetes can be as simple as increasing dietary fibre. This can be done by consuming more vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
Fibre binds sugar in the digestive tract and prevents blood sugar spikes that cause long term poor glucose control and subsequent diabetes.
By eating dietary fibre each meal you are avoiding this phenomenon.
#3: Lose 7% of Your Body Weight (if overweight or obese) – Seek Guidance
This is where things get very interesting! Holding on to excess bodyweight increases the risk of type two diabetes. We all mostly understood that but the question has been this – “how much do we have to lose to prevent diabetes”.
Well the answers are in and it isn’t much to see major benefits.
To reduce your risk of diabetes by half (1/2) you only need to lose 7% of your body weight. If you weigh 200 lbs that is only 14 lbs and you reduce your chances of getting diabetes by 50%.
I like those odds.
The key here is figuring out how to lose the weight. The first two points will help – exercise and eat fibre – but now what?
Here is the ultimate answer (and you have heard this before) – get a coach.
Work with someone who knows what they are doing. Someone you can be accountable to. Someone who gets results.
Obviously I am going to recommend working with Amy because I truly believe she is the best coach online.
Amy gets results. Her programs have helped thousands of women lose weight and achieve the freedom of optimal health. She provides one on one coaching at a price that is less than one personal training session. It is just so valuable to have her as your coach. She makes weight loss easy, uses her whole-food, all natural ingredient, flexible weight loss program and helps all of her clients break through mental/emotional weight loss blocks.
Go here to see which of her programs are most suitable to you.
If you or anyone you know are at risk for type two diabetes the best time to begin your prevention plan is now. The absolute best plan (in conjunction with the three recommendations above) is the DAMY Method Program.
The three points I have covered are the basics. They give the best results and need to be established before advanced prevention measures are considered.
The research is good. The results are phenomenal and avoiding the negative effects associated with diabetes is worth it.
Improve your estimated lifespan by 15 years by avoiding diabetes. This is your plan.
Weight Management Through Lifestyle Modification for the Prevention and Management of Type 2 Diabetes: Rationale and Strategies – Samuel Klein, MD1, Nancy F. Sheard, SCD, RD2, Xavier Pi-Sunyer, MD, MPH3, Anne Daly, MS, RD, BC-ADM, CDE4, Judith Wylie-Rosett, EDD, RD5, Karmeen Kulkarni, MS, RD, BC-ADM, CDE6 and Nathaniel G. Clark, MD, MS, RD7 Diabetes Care August 2004 vol. 27 no. 8 2067-2073. 10.2337/diacare.27.8.2067
Health benefits of dietary fiber – James W Anderson, Pat Baird, Richard H Davis, Stefanie Ferreri, Mary Knudtson, Ashraf Koraym, Valerie Waters, Christine L Williams. Nutrition Reviews Apr 2009, 67 (4) 188-205; DOI: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00189.x
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