Is it possible to prevent type 2 diabetes, even if you are diagnosed with prediabetes?
Many scientists believe that this is possible. However, in order to prevent or reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, it’s important to take action now.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that more than 30 million people in the United States have diabetes and that 90-95% of these diagnoses are classified as type 2. The CDC also reports that more than 84 million adults have prediabetes, which, if not properly managed, can lead to type 2 diabetes.
When blood glucose levels are high, but not quite high enough to be defined as type 2 diabetes, this is described as prediabetes. Prediabetes is a warning sign that type 2 diabetes could develop in the near future if certain behaviors are not adopted. Prediabetes typically goes unnoticed, because it generally has no signs or symptoms.
New Diabetes Research May Offer New Forms of Treatment
Scientists are currently working to understand the role of a specific protein, called klotho. Klotho is a naturally occurring hormone that is involved in various processes and cellular interactions throughout the body. A recent study has shown that by increasing the amount of circulating klotho protein in mice, insulin secretion is stimulated and blood glucose levels decrease. Although not currently available for human treatment, scientists are studying how to develop a way to prevent and possibly even reverse type 2 diabetes by using klotho protein to reduce blood glucose levels.
Lose Extra Weight and Keep it Off
Obesity encourages insulin resistance. Insulin resistance occurs when the body is unable to respond to insulin’s “signal” that triggers glucose absorption. For this reason, being overweight significantly increases an individual’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Maintaining a healthy weight improves the body’s ability to respond to insulin and use glucose. A long-term commitment to following an appropriate exercise plan in conjunction with a healthy-eating plan can help individuals lose weight and keep it off.
Break a Sweat
Physical inactivity has been linked to an impairment in the body’s ability to manage blood glucose levels and has been marked as a key risk factor for type 2 diabetes. (1)
Exercise facilitates glucose uptake from the bloodstream and, as a result, lowers blood glucose levels. Additionally, individuals with diabetes have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease compared to individuals who do not have diabetes. Exercise improves overall health and cardiovascular health by reducing blood pressure and improving good cholesterol (HDL) levels.
Eat a Varied, Nutritious Diet
Eating a diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals nourishes the body and helps keep off excess weight. In order to avoid diabetes and control higher than normal blood glucose levels, eat foods that are least likely to cause a sudden spike in blood glucose, such as whole grains, healthy fats like nuts and seeds, and plenty of vegetables.
Making healthy decisions such as skipping sugary drinks, limiting red meat intake, and avoiding processed and fried foods may be difficult at first, but making this long-term commitment will significantly improve your overall health while also reducing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Do You Think You’re at Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes?
If you believe that you have risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes, talk to your doctor. He/she will talk to you about the risks commonly associated with the onset of type 2 diabetes as well as actions you can take to lower your risk of developing the condition.
- Inactivity linked to risk factors for Type 2 diabetes. Science Daily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110823165448.htm. Published August 23, 2011. Accessed on August 13, 2017.