Written By Lewis Robinson / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Diabetes is one of the most common chronic health conditions in the United States. If left unchecked, it can lead to very serious complications, such as nerve damage and circulatory problems. Diabetes is preventable, even if you already have elevated blood sugar levels. The key to preventing diabetes is to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
These five tips will help you get started on your journey.
1. Take Action Early
The sooner you start working toward a healthier lifestyle, the easier it will be to avoid a diabetes diagnosis. Even if your doctor has told you that you have prediabetes, there is hope. One of the most important things you need to understand is that prediabetes is more than a wake-up call. It is a sign that your body is not functioning at its best level.
Anyone can learn how to reverse prediabetes. Putting that knowledge into action is the harder part. Luckily, there are lots of programs to support a healthier lifestyle. These generally focus on bringing A1c levels down, losing weight, and increasing physical activity levels. The CDC offers a search tool so you can find an evidence-based program in your area.
2. Work With Your Doctor
The internet is a great place to find general information. However, when it comes to your health, you want to work directly with a healthcare provider that knows your unique situation. Your doctor can explain how other medical conditions or medications you are taking may impact your blood sugar.
The doctor can also make recommendations for lifestyle changes that will have the biggest positive impact on your outcomes. If it's been a while since you last saw your doctor, call the office now and schedule a physical.
Mention any concerns you have during this call since it may influence any tests they will run. For example, you may need to fast before your visit if it includes a lipid panel test. Be sure to follow up on any test results so you can get a full picture of your health.
3. Make Exercise Part of Your Routine
One of the best ways to improve your overall physical and emotional health is to get up and move. Upping your activity is attainable for anyone, regardless of your perceived physical abilities or limitations. It's free and there are so many great things that count as physical activity, that you are sure to find something that fits your lifestyle and mood.
The American Diabetes Association recognizes the direct connection between exercise and blood sugar. While they understand the importance of adding exercise, they also urge caution as you start to incorporate moving more into your routine. Go slow and follow the advice of your doctor for the best results.
4. Rethink Your Eating Habits
The Standard American Diet is loaded with unhealthy fats, ultra-processed foods, and added sugar. All three can contribute to your likelihood of developing diabetes. SAD indeed! Cutting back on processed foods and adding more whole food options can have a huge impact on your overall health and greatly lower your chances of developing diabetes.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to give up all carbohydrates if you are living with diabetes. Things like the amount of fiber and protein in food affect how it is processed in your body and how it affects your blood sugar levels. That is why whole grains and some fruits and starchy vegetables are still recommended as part of an overall healthy diet.
5. Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Lifestyle choices can impact your blood sugar levels. In general, you should aim to get a good night's sleep, manage stress, and avoid smoking. It is also a good idea to limit alcohol consumption. While there is probably no harm in having a glass of wine with dinner for most people, it could be incredibly dangerous for someone with diabetes.
Even if you have been diagnosed with prediabetes, you can take charge of your health going forward. Work with your doctor to develop a diet and exercise program that fits your lifestyle, medical needs, and abilities. Many people also find it helpful to enroll in a diabetes prevention program.
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Lewis Robinson is a freelance writer and expert in health and fitness. When he isn’t writing he can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.