Did you know that more than 50% of all adult hospital beds in Kenya are occupied by people with diabetes or diabetes related conditions?
Did you know that 1.8 million++ Kenyans are living with diabetes and only half of them know??
Diabetes is a condition that more and more people are being impacted with on an everyday basis. We are seeing people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes all the time and unfortunately, this is a condition many have to then live with.
There are two types of diabetes, type 1 or insulin dependent diabetes and type 2, non-insulin dependent diabetes.
Type 1 diabetics are those who are not producing insulin as they should and are often born with this condition. They need to inject themselves with the hormone daily in order to sustain proper control over their blood glucose levels.
Type 2 diabetics, on the other hand, are those who have become insensitive to insulin. This often happens over a period of years and is due to lifestyle and nutrition choices they are making. As their cells become less and less sensitive to insulin, this results in them not handling their carbohydrates as well as they should.
Let’s look further into type 2 diabetes especially and go over what causes it and what you can do to prevent it or manage it if you’re suffering.
The Causes Of Type 2 Diabetes
So what causes type 2 diabetes? There isn’t just one cause of this disorder, but rather, it’s going to be caused by a variety of different factors.
First, you have a poor diet. Consuming too many simple sugars, such as wheat products (bread, pasta), over consuming sugary items such as cake, cookies, is the biggest cause of diabetes as this wears the entire system down, causing insulin to continually be released in high dosages. As time ticks onward, with so much insulin constantly flooding the system, the cells simply become less sensitive.
The second big cause of type 2 diabetes is inactivity or not being physically active. The more active you are, the better you’re able to manage your blood glucose level.
So now if you have a high amount of sugar coming in through your diet and not enough physical activity to promote lower blood glucose levels, you have a real problem on your hands.
Some symptoms of diabetes include:
- Frequent Urination
- Excessive thirst
- Extreme Hunger
- Unusual weight loss
- Increased levels of fatigue
- Blurry vision
Would you pay more attention to your health only after the symptoms above struck? Wouldn’t it be better to proactively pay more attention and be more intentional of what you eat and how your live now…today?
Preventing, Managing and Reversing Type 2 Diabetes
All of this said, what can you do to better manage, prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes?
The most important thing you must be doing is focusing on doing whatever you can to control your blood sugar level.
If your blood glucose levels are stabilized, you won’t be releasing any insulin and as a result, your cells won’t become less sensitive.
Good nutrition is the key to blood sugar control. This means eating a diet full of natural, wholesome foods that are high in fiber, nutrients and low in sugar. You are what you eat and great nutrition habits are the best way to manage diabetes.
Combine good nutrition with a regular exercise program to take your control over this condition even higher. While all forms of exercise will be incredibly beneficial to the management of diabetes, you’ll want to especially focus on more intense forms such as strength training as well as interval training.
These two varieties of exercise tend to improve the cell’s sensitivity level to insulin, helping promote greater control over blood glucose levels.
If a beginner, you start slowly by engaging in an activity that you can consistently perform such as walking and slowly build up. The key is to get started.
Its also important to visit the doctor for an annual checkup at least once a year this way, any conditions can be detected and managed sooner rather than much later. There are people with Diabetes, usually type 1, that are not overweight or obese and it cannot be assumed that having a healthy weight means being healthy. Make doctor visits, even when you are not sick, an annual commitment to yourself…it could save your life.
More about blood sugar levels. According to the ADA (American Diabetes Association) blood sugar levels vary throughout the day and differ.
Normal for person without diabetes: 70–99 mg/dl (3.9–5.5 mmol/L)
Recommendation for someone with diabetes: 80–130 mg/dl (4.5–7.2 mmol/L)
2 hours after meals
Normal levels for person without diabetes: Less than 140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol/L)
Recommendation for someone with diabetes: Less than 180 mg/dl (10.0 mmol/L)
Taking care of your self by cultivating better healthy habits is a very small price to pay for a longer, happier, healthier life. Prevention is always much better than cure.
So there you have the facts to know and remember regarding diabetes. Through a proper diet and exercise program, you can certainly do your part to prevent and control this condition.