Diabetes prevention tips are essential for busy professionals looking to take control of their health and reduce the risk of developing this chronic disease. Knowing the diverse forms of diabetes, their indications, and how lifestyle decisions influence keeping away from or overseeing the condition is fundamental.
We will delve into various diabetes prevention strategies such as regular screenings for early detection and preventive therapies through diet and exercise. Additionally, we will explore integrative therapies like acupuncture and herbal supplements that can help improve blood sugar control.
Furthermore, we’ll discuss the vital role Vitamin D plays in diabetes prevention and offer practical stress management techniques to maintain better glycemic control. By incorporating these preventive measures, one can drastically reduce the probability of developing type 2 diabetes and optimize their health and wellbeing.
Are you super busy but need to take control of your health? Are you tired of being tired? Subscribe to my “Minimize Medications, Maximize Health Blog” and I’ll give you 7 Tips to Get Healthy in No Time absolutely FREE.
You have Successfully Subscribed!
Understanding Diabetes and Its Types
Diabetes is a persistent illness that can have destructive impacts on numerous body organs. There are three main types of diabetes – Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational diabetes. In this section, we will discuss the differences between these types and their symptoms.
Diabetes (“dy-ah-BEE-teez”) is a leading cause of disability and death in the US. Diabetes increases the risk of serious health problems like:
- Heart disease
- Nerve damage — which can lead to having a toe, foot, or leg removed
- Kidney failure
What is Prediabetes?
If you have prediabetes, the glucose levels in your blood are higher than normal – but not high enough to mean you have type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems, like heart disease and stroke. The good news about prediabetes is that healthy changes, like losing weight and getting enough physical activity, can prevent or delay it from becoming type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes: An Autoimmune Condition
Type 1 diabetes occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in your pancreas. This results in little or no insulin production, which leads to high blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetes is commonly diagnosed in youngsters or teens, though it can happen at any age.
Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirstiness
- Hunger even after eating
- Unexplained weight loss
- Irritability or mood changes
Type 2 Diabetes: Lifestyle-Related Factors Play a Major Role
Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, develops when your body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn’t produce enough insulin for proper glucose regulation. It’s often linked with obesity and physical inactivity; hence lifestyle-related factors play a significant role in its development.
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes Often Develop Slowly Over Time:
- Frequent infections (e.g., skin infections)
- Numbness/tingling sensation in hands/feet
- Slow-healing sores or cuts
- Blurred vision
- Darkened skin patches, usually in the neck or armpits (acanthosis nigricans)
Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. It affects how your cells use glucose and can cause high blood sugar levels, which may lead to complications for both mother and baby if left untreated. Gestational diabetes can dissipate post-birth, yet it increases the likelihood of type 2 diabetes manifesting in later life.
Knowing the various kinds of diabetes and their indications is critical to spot any probable dangers. Regular screenings are also necessary for prevention, such as blood pressure checks starting at age 18 and cholesterol check-ups every four to six years.
Importance of Regular Screenings for Diabetes Prevention
The Affordable Care Act requires insurance plans to cover screenings for adults with diabetes and high blood pressure as part of preventive care measures. Early detection plays a crucial role in preventing complications from developing due to undiagnosed or untreated conditions like pre-diabetes or full-blown cases. In this section, we will discuss the importance of regular screenings and what tests you should consider getting.
Blood Pressure Checks Starting at Age 18
Given the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, it is imperative to maintain healthy blood pressure levels by getting regular checks starting at age 18. It’s essential to start keeping an eye on your blood pressure from 18, with regular checks. The American Heart Association recommends that adults get their blood pressure measured at least once every two years if they have normal readings (less than 120/80 mm Hg). If your numbers are higher, more frequent check-ups may be necessary.
Cholesterol Check-Ups Every Four to Six Years
It is essential to monitor cholesterol levels in addition to checking blood pressure. High cholesterol can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes by affecting insulin resistance and increasing inflammation in the body. The American College of Cardiology suggests that adults aged 20 years or older should have their cholesterol checked every four to six years. However, those with certain risk factors such as obesity, smoking history, family history of early heart disease or diabetes might need more frequent testing.
Regular screenings are an essential part of diabetes prevention and overall health maintenance. By keeping track of your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, you can identify potential issues early on and take appropriate steps to manage them before they become more serious problems. Consult your healthcare provider to determine the most suitable screening plan tailored for you.
It is essential to have regular screenings for diabetes prevention, as it can help identify any potential risks before they become serious health issues. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle through proper nutrition and physical activity is essential for avoiding the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Preventive Therapies Through Diet and Exercise
A healthy diet combined with regular physical activity can help control weight gain, which lowers the risk for developing type 2 diabetes. In this section, we will explore different dietary approaches such as low-carb diets, Mediterranean-style eating patterns, and other helpful strategies that promote overall health while keeping your blood sugar levels in check.
Low-Carb Diets for Better Glycemic Control
Following a low-carb diet has been shown to improve glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes. By decreasing carb intake, one can limit blood sugar fluctuations after meals and keep more even glucose levels throughout the day. Popular dietary plans such as the keto, Atkins, and paleo regimens focus on decreasing carbohydrate intake.
Mediterranean-Style Eating Patterns Rich in Fruits, Vegetables & Whole Grains
The Mediterranean-style eating pattern, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins like fish or poultry along with healthy fats from olive oil is known to be heart-friendly and beneficial for managing blood sugar levels. This way of eating emphasizes consuming unprocessed foods that are high in fiber and nutrients while being lower in added sugars.
Physical Activity Recommendations
- Aerobic exercise: Aim for at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activities like brisk walking, swimming, or cycling. Break the 150 minutes into five, 30-minute chunks throughout the week.
- Resistance training: Incorporate strength training exercises like weight lifting or bodyweight workouts at least twice a week to improve muscle mass and insulin sensitivity.
- Flexibility exercises: Stretching routines such as yoga or Pilates can help maintain flexibility and range of motion while also providing stress-relief benefits that aid in blood sugar control.
Incorporating these dietary approaches and exercise recommendations into your daily routine will not only help you prevent diabetes but also promote overall health and well-being. Remember to consult with your healthcare provider before making any significant changes to your diet or exercise regimen, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions or risk factors for developing diabetes such as insulin resistance or higher blood sugar levels.
Drinking water and eating foods high in fiber and nutrients can also help reduce insulin levels and promote weight loss, which are important factors in preventing diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight through weight management strategies such as brisk walking and gut health can also help prevent spikes in blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Developing an individualized dietary and physical activity program can be beneficial in sustaining diabetes management. In addition to diet and exercise, complementary approaches such as acupuncture, herbal remedies, and mental-relaxation techniques can be beneficial for optimizing blood glucose levels.
Integrative Therapies for Better Blood Sugar Control
Using integrative therapies alongside conventional medical treatments may offer additional benefits when it comes to managing blood sugar levels effectively. In this section, we will explore some popular options such as acupuncture treatment sessions and herbal supplements specifically designed for improving insulin sensitivity.
Acupuncture Therapy Sessions Targeting Specific Points
Research has shown that acupuncture can help improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes by targeting specific points on the body. This traditional Chinese medicine technique involves inserting thin needles into precise locations to stimulate nerves, muscles, and connective tissue. Acupuncture is thought to promote healing and improve general health. If you’re looking to use acupuncture for better glycemic control, consult a licensed acupuncturist with expertise in treating diabetes.
Herbal Supplements for Improved Insulin Sensitivity
Natural remedies like herbal supplements can also play a role in supporting healthy blood sugar levels. Some herbs have been found to improve insulin sensitivity or reduce glucose absorption from food:
- Bitter melon: This tropical fruit has been used traditionally as a remedy for diabetes due to its potential ability to lower blood sugar levels. Bitter melon extract is available as capsules or tablets.
- Cinnamon: Several studies suggest that cinnamon may help regulate blood glucose levels by increasing insulin sensitivity. You can add cinnamon to your diet by sprinkling it on foods or taking a supplement.
- Gymnema sylvestre: This herb, native to India and Africa, has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to treat diabetes. It is believed to help reduce sugar cravings and support healthy blood sugar levels. Gymnema sylvestre supplements are available as capsules or tablets.
Before starting any herbal supplement regimen, consult with your healthcare provider to ensure they are safe and appropriate for your specific needs.
Mind-Body Techniques like Yoga and Meditation
In addition to acupuncture and herbal supplements, mind-body techniques such as yoga and meditation can also contribute positively towards better blood sugar control. Regular practice of these activities can help manage stress levels which play a significant role in glycemic regulation. For example:
- Yoga: Practicing yoga regularly may improve insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, lipid profile, and body composition in people with type 2 diabetes. You can find various online resources or join local classes that cater specifically to individuals living with diabetes.
- Meditation: Mindfulness-based practices like meditation have been shown effective at reducing stress-related hyperglycemia by promoting relaxation response mechanisms within the body. Consider incorporating daily meditation sessions into your routine for improved mental well-being alongside better glycemic control.
Acupuncture and herbal remedies can be beneficial in enhancing insulin sensitivity and managing blood sugar levels. Vitamin D has a significant role in protecting against diabetes; let’s explore the impact it has on our health.
The Role of Vitamin D in Diabetes Prevention
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Ensuring that you have adequate levels through supplementation or exposure to sunlight can play a crucial role in preventing the onset of this chronic condition.
How Vitamin D Deficiency Affects Blood Sugar Regulation
Vitamin D plays a significant role in regulating insulin secretion and sensitivity, which are essential for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Research studies have shown that individuals with low vitamin D levels are at a higher risk of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. This is because insufficient amounts of vitamin D may impair pancreatic beta-cell function, leading to reduced insulin production and poor glycemic control.
Recommended Daily Intake and Sources of Vitamin D
To ensure adequate vitamin D intake, it is recommended to obtain the nutrient from various sources such as diet, supplements or sun exposure. The RDA for adults 19-70 is 600 IU (15 mcg), while those over 70 should strive to get 800 IU (20 mcg) daily.
- Dietary sources: Foods rich in vitamin D include fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines; fortified dairy products like milk and yogurt; eggs; beef liver; cheese; mushrooms exposed to UV light.
- Sunlight exposure: Spending time outdoors under the sun allows your skin to synthesize its own supply of vitamin D naturally. However, factors such as geographic location, seasonality, skin pigmentation level, and sunscreen usage can affect how much sunlight is needed for optimal vitamin D production. Try to get two sessions of sun exposure on your face, arms, and legs each week for around 10-30 minutes.
- Supplements: If you’re unable to meet the RDA through diet or sunlight alone, consider taking a vitamin D supplement after consulting with your healthcare provider. They can help determine the appropriate dosage based on individual needs and monitor blood levels periodically to ensure optimal supplementation.
Incorporating these strategies into your daily routine can significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by maintaining adequate vitamin D levels in your body. Remember that prevention is always better than cure when it comes to chronic diseases like diabetes.
Vitamin D has a major impact on warding off diabetes, so making sure you get the recommended amount is crucial. Additionally, managing stress levels can also help improve glycemic control; let’s explore some mindfulness practices and relaxation techniques for better emotional balance.
Managing Stress for Better Blood Sugar Control
Chronic stress is known to negatively impact blood sugar control, making it essential to incorporate effective stress management techniques into your daily routine. Explore various strategies such as mindfulness practices, deep breathing exercises, and other relaxation methods that can help keep your glucose levels stable.
The Link Between Stress and Poor Glycemic Control
Chronic stress triggers the release of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which can cause elevated blood sugar levels that are associated with poor glycemic control. This response may have been helpful in ancient times when humans needed extra energy to escape from danger or hunt for food; however, today’s modern lifestyle often leads to constant exposure of these hormones without any physical release. As a result, this continuous state of heightened arousal can contribute significantly towards poor glycemic control, increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes or worsening existing symptoms.
Mindfulness Practices for Better Emotional Balance
By utilizing mindfulness practices such as meditation and mindful eating, one can cultivate greater self-awareness and emotional balance to better manage stress levels and maintain optimal blood sugar levels. By learning how to focus on the present moment without judgment or distraction from external factors like work deadlines or family obligations, one becomes more equipped at handling stressful situations calmly while maintaining optimal blood sugar levels throughout their day-to-day life.
- Meditation: Regularly practicing meditation helps train your mind in focusing on the present moment rather than getting caught up in negative thoughts about past events or future worries. By practicing mindfulness, stress can be reduced and glycemic control improved.
- Mindful eating: By paying attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of each bite during meals, you become more aware of your body’s hunger signals and are less likely to overeat or indulge in unhealthy food choices that can negatively impact blood sugar levels.
Deep Breathing Exercises & Other Relaxation Techniques
By activating the body’s natural relaxation response, deep breathing exercises such as diaphragmatic or alternate nostril breathing can help reduce stress levels and ultimately improve blood sugar management. These techniques work by increasing oxygen intake while slowing down heart rate – leading towards greater feelings of calmness which ultimately translates into better blood sugar management overall.
- Diaphragmatic Breathing: Also known as “belly breathing,” this technique involves inhaling deeply through your nose so that your abdomen expands rather than just your chest. Exhale slowly through pursed lips while gently contracting abdominal muscles for maximum effect.
- Alternate Nostril Breathing: A popular practice within yoga traditions; this method requires alternating inhalation and exhalation between left/right nostrils using one hand thumb/index finger respectively – promoting balance across both hemispheres of the brain works by reducing anxiety symptoms associated with high-stress situations.
Besides these methods, consider exploring other relaxation techniques like progressive muscle relaxation (PMR), guided imagery, or even engaging in hobbies that bring joy and satisfaction. By regularly incorporating effective stress management strategies into your daily routine, you will be well on your way towards maintaining stable glucose levels and improving overall health outcomes.
If you would like to receive a free resource sheet to help you take control of diabetes, click the button below to receive your gift.
I wanted to talk about this topic because it is absolutely possible to prevent and even reverse Type 2 Diabetes (but you cannot reverse Type 1). Yes, it’s possible! and emerging studies looking at lifestyle medicine and prevention support this! But I always tell my patients that you must be dedicated and diligent in adopting a healthy lifestyle to get the best results. You can create certain behaviors and practices that will not only enrich your life, but that you can pass on to your family, friends, and community, to help break the cycle of this chronic disease so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
I use functional medicine and lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a low glycemic, whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you improve your blood sugar levels, maybe reverse type 2 diabetes. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy.
But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Is Dietary Supplementation Right For You?
When it comes to managing your blood sugars (in general), pre-diabetes, and diabetes, there are many things that you can do to help control your blood sugar levels. One important aspect is diet. What you eat affects your blood sugar, so it’s important to be mindful of what goes into your body.
But it is very important to note that we are not eating the same foods we ate years ago because the soils have been depleted of critical nutrients through current industrial farming practices. And because the soil is not as good as it used to be, the food supply (grown from the depleted soil) is not as good as it used to be. For example, you are not getting the same levels of chromium and magnesium as you would have gotten 30 or even 50 years ago.
Second, much of the food has been processed and genetically altered, which can impact the inherent and unique nutritional composition that each food possess. For example, ancient einkorn wheat has less gluten, more protein, more Vitamin A, and more beta carotene, than modern genetically modified wheat.
Third, the toxic load in the environment today is much higher than 100 years ago. We can see this with global warming, toxic landfills, polluted oceans and waterways, etc. Toxicity levels interfere with nutrient assimilation and absorption not just into the foods, but into our bodies as well. We often see elevated blood sugar levels with poor nutrition and toxicity.
In addition to diet, there are dietary supplements that can have an impact on blood sugar levels. Dietary supplements for diabetes are becoming increasingly popular as people look for ways to improve their blood sugar control.
For some people, vitamin and mineral supplements offer important health benefits. Supplements are designed to fight deficiencies found in our diet and complement the food we eat regularly. Supplements are basically “helping hands” to our daily food.
If you suspect that you aren’t getting the nutrients you need, consider shifting your focus from supplements to eating better.
And if you are unable to eat better, the supplements in my Blood Sugar Support Bundle may provide the extra boost you need.
These are my favorite Diabetes Prevention Supplements to use! This Blood Sugar Support Bundle will ensure you have the intake of the important vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to decrease inflammation and boost your innate wellness day and night. Taken together, it’s a solid plan for increasing your body’s natural resiliency while encouraging healthy blood sugar levels.
For best results make sure you use these supplements with dietary changes including a whole food plant-based diet, regular exercise (at least 2-3x per week), regular sleep (8 hours per night), and intermittent fasting (at least 1-3x per week).
It’s important to note that supplements are NOT a replacement for your regular medication regimen prescribed by your doctor. However, they can be used in addition to help manage your blood sugar levels.
Supplements have the potential to interact with diabetes medications, so it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen. Have you tried any dietary supplements for your diabetes? Share your experience in the comments below!
Tools For Diabetes Prevention and Monitoring
Blood Sugar Monitoring
As you know, I always stress the importance of taking control of your health. Monitoring your blood sugar levels is one of the best ways to do this. To do this, a single drop of blood is collected with disposable lancets and placed on a disposable test strip, which you insert into a home blood-sugar monitoring device, called a glucometer.
The common times for checking your blood sugar are when you first wake up (fasting), before a meal, 2 hours after a meal, and at bedtime; however, you should check your blood sugar as many times a day as your health care team suggests.
Monitoring your blood sugar level provides you and your doctors with important knowledge about how food, activity, medication, stress, and other elements might affect your blood sugar levels. This data will assist you and your doctor in developing a therapy plan that is suited to your demands.
There are several types of blood glucose meters, lancets, and test strips to choose from. I often recommend this glucometer, lancets, and test strips.
Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases such as diabetes, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices).
Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity actually improves insulin sensitivity. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help you maintain a healthy weight.
I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Here are some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet and regular physical activity are the best ways to prevent diabetes.
The Diabetes Meal Plan is geared towards those people with diabetes or prediabetes. The foods are moderately low in carbs, low glycemic, fiber rich, and contain a balance of nutrients to help prevent blood sugar spikes and dips. Foods are also included that may help to lower blood sugar.
Please talk with your doctor about any complementary health approaches, including supplements, you use.
Diabetes Prevention Tips FAQs
To prevent diabetes, focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle by incorporating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Engage in regular physical activity and maintain a healthy weight. Regular screenings for blood pressure and cholesterol levels are essential to monitor your risk factors. Additionally, managing stress through mindfulness practices can contribute to better glycemic control.
The most effective way to prevent diabetes is adopting a comprehensive approach that includes maintaining a healthy diet like Mediterranean-style eating patterns, engaging in regular physical activity as recommended by the CDC, keeping up with routine health check-ups, and practicing stress management techniques such as yoga or meditation.
- Leafy greens: spinach, kale
- Fatty fish: salmon, mackerel
- Nuts & seeds: almonds, chia seeds
- Cinnamon: helps regulate blood sugar levels
- Greek yogurt: high protein content aids satiety
- Berries: antioxidants promote overall health
Accepting life with diabetes involves educating yourself about the condition and its management strategies. Develop an individualized care plan alongside healthcare professionals that focuses on proper nutrition intake, exercise routines tailored to your needs (ADA), and medication adherence. Additionally, seeking support from friends, family or diabetes support groups can help you cope with the emotional aspects of living with this chronic condition.
By understanding the different types of diabetes, the importance of regular screenings, and preventive therapies through diet and exercise, individuals can take control of their health to prevent or manage diabetes. Integrative therapies like acupuncture and herbal supplements, along with managing stress levels and incorporating vitamin D into one’s diet are also helpful in preventing spikes in blood sugar levels.
It is important for busy professionals to prioritize their health by making small changes such as eating foods high in fiber, drinking water regularly, promoting weight loss through a healthy weight management plan that includes brisk walking or other physical activities. By taking these steps towards prevention now, individuals can reduce their risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes later on.
If you need assistance creating a tailored diabetes prevention plan or would like to know more about strategies for avoiding type 2 diabetes, reach out to Dr. Nicolle today!
Some of the links in this article are "affiliate links", a link with a special tracking code. This means if you click on an affiliate link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission.
The price of the item is the same whether it is an affiliate link or not. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.
By using the affiliate links, you are helping support our Website, and we genuinely appreciate your support.
Last updated on April 24th, 2023 at 05:36 pm
Are you super busy but need to take control of your health? Are you tired of being tired? Subscribe to my “Minimize Medications, Maximize Health Blog” and I’ll give you 7 Tips to Get Healthy in No Time absolutely FREE.