Are You Worried about Diabetes?

Did you know that 86 million people in the U.S. suffer from pre-diabetes? This is a condition where you have higher than normal blood sugar levels. It’s not high enough to be considered diabetes yet, but without adopting a healthy lifestyle, you are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. This is true for both adults and children. In fact, one study estimated that over 15,000 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes each year and about 3,000 children are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes each year. These numbers are alarming, and are a “wake up” call for all of us to try to understand exactly how diabetes works – and how we can lower our risk of developing it. 

Is glucose really the culprit? Glucose is a natural component in many foods that you eat. Normally, the body converts blood glucose into energy by using insulin, a critical hormone. With type 1 diabetes, your body is unable to make enough insulin. This means you are then unable to convert glucose to energy for your body’s needs. With type 2 diabetes, your pancreas is unable to make enough insulin or your body becomes “insulin resistant” and cannot properly utilize insulin to convert glucose, which leads to higher blood sugar levels. Over time, heightened blood sugar levels may cause serious problems. These high glucose levels can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and even increase the risk for heart disease or stroke.  

Of the two types of diabetes, type 2 is far more common. Type 2 diabetes used to be known as “adult-onset diabetes” because it most commonly afflicted older adults who had been overweight for many years. However, this name no longer applies today because more children than ever are also being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Luckily, you can easily tackle a few risk factors in order to reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.  

Common risk factors of type 2 diabetes include being overweight, storing fat mainly in the abdomen, inactivity, an older age, and family history of diabetes. Although these risk factors may sound alarming, adopting a healthy lifestyle routine can help you avoid these common pitfalls so you can enjoy long-term health and wellness. . . free of diabetes. 

Prevention of type 2 diabetes depends on making conscious healthy lifestyle choices, especially in young children. For your kids and yourself, begin by building a foundation of natural health and wellness by eating a smorgasbord of healthy, organic foods based on organic fruits and vegetables, legumes (beans and lentils), whole grains, nuts and seeds, and some wild-caught fish.  

Set up an active routine with at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day. To enjoy some invigorating physical activity, walk, run, bike, or dance to your favorite songs. Avoid being sedentary for long periods by standing and moving around once or twice each hour. One of the main risk factors of developing type 2 diabetes is being overweight, so these healthy lifestyle choices may help you shed some of those unwanted pounds and place your weight in a healthy range, further reducing your risk of diabetes.  

Please be inspired to take charge of your own health and wellness by deciding to make healthy lifestyle choices each and every day. Enjoy your best health for a lifetime with your own healthy habits. OK, about that slice of cake . . . !?