Diabetes is a common condition and its frequency is dramatically rising all over the world.
At least 171 million people worldwide have diabetes. This figure is likely to more than double by 2030.
In developing countries the number of people with diabetes will increase by 150% in the next 25 years.
The global increase in diabetes will occur because of population ageing and growth, and because of increasing trends towards obesity, unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles.
In developing countries it is people in the middle, productive years of their lives who are particularly affected by diabetes. In these countries three-quarters of all people with diabetes are under 65 years old and 25% of all adults with diabetes are younger than 44. In developed countries, more than half of all people with diabetes are older than 65, and only 8% of adults with diabetes are younger than 44.
Statistics show that diabetes has risen four times faster in men aged 35-44 over the last 12 years compared to women of the same age, and that, consistently, more men are overweight than women.
Approximately 90 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes, which is strongly linked to lifestyle factors .
Obesity in middle age — even without established cardiovascular disease risk factors such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels — greatly increases risk of hospitalization for and death from heart disease and diabetes.
Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.
Hyperglycaemia and other related disturbances in the body’s metabolism can lead to serious damage to many of the body’s systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels.
There are two basic forms of diabetes: Type 1: people with this type of diabetes produce very little or no insulin.
Type 2: people with this type of diabetes cannot use insulin effectively.
Most people with diabetes have Type 2.
Type 2 diabetes exists in all populations, but prevalence varies greatly, ie, 1% in Japan, and greater than 40% in the Pima Indians of Arizona.
In Caucasians, the figure is somewhere between 1-2% of the entire population.
The high incidence of type 2 diabetes in certain groups such as the Pima Indians appears to be a relatively recent development that followed a change in the type of food intake (from relatively little food to plenty of food).With this came the development of obesity within their culture which results in Type 2 diabetes developing in those that are genetically predisposed.
Development of type 2 diabetes seems to be multi-factorial; that is, there are a number of issues to blame. Genetic predisposition seems to be the strongest factor. Obesity and high caloric intake seems to be another.
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A third type of diabetes, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), develops during some cases of pregnancy but usually disappears after pregnancy.
People with type 1 diabetes require daily injections of insulin to survive.
People with type 2 diabetes can sometimes manage their condition with lifestyle measures alone, but oral drugs are often required, and less frequently insulin, in order to achieve good metabolic control.
Common symptoms of type 1 diabetes include: excessive thirst; constant hunger; excessive urination; weight loss for no reason; rapid, hard breathing; vision changes; drowsiness or exhaustion. These symptoms may occur suddenly.
People with type 2 diabetes may have similar, but less obvious, symptoms. Many have no symptoms and are only diagnosed after many years of onset. As a consequence, almost half of all people with type 2 diabetes are not aware that they have this life-threatening condition.
Whereas type 1 diabetes is characterized by the onset in young persons (average age at diagnosis = 14), type 2 diabetes usually develops in middle age or later.
This tendency to develop later in life has given rise to the term “adult onset diabetes,” although the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in younger people is rising, making this term somewhat inaccurate and outdated.
Generally, Type 2 diabetes occurs in middle-aged adults, most frequently after age 45. However, health care providers are diagnosing more and more children and adolescents with type 2 diabetes.
Research shows that losing weight can reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes in those at high risk by 58 per cent and physical activity can reduce the risk by 64 per cent.
Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include:
1,Being over 40 years old
2.Or over 25 if you’re Black, Asian or from an ethnic minority group
3.Having a large waist
4.Being of Black or South Asian origin and having a family history of the condition.
Type 2 diabetes can be undetected for 10 years or more and around half of people already have complications by the time they are diagnosed.
At risk waist measurements are 37 inches or more for men, except those of South Asian origin who are at risk at 35 inches or more, and 31.5 inches or more for all women.
Diabetes and Menopause
Diabetes hits women hard, especially at midlife.
Women with type 1 diabetes may experience menopause earlier than average. Women with type 2 diabetes may reach menopause later than average if they are above a healthy weight, as estrogen levels do not decrease as rapidly in women who are overweight.
Most women go through menopause in their late 40s or early 50s, this process is called perimenopause, which typically begins 2 -10 years before the menopause.
Hormone fluctuations that occur as the body prepares itself for menopause are the cause of perimenopause symptoms. After years of symptoms, most women reaches menopause around 51.
During perimenopause, the ovaries become less and less active, which causes estrogen and progesterone levels to fall, affecting your hormonal imbalance.
Healthy Living Tips to Help Prevent Onset Of Type 2 Diabetes In Midlife
While some things that contribute to the development of diabetes are beyond a person’s control, there are also a number of modifiable risk factors. By making healthy changes in these areas, people can reduce their risks or delay the development of diabetes and improve their overall quality of life.
Being overweight puts you at a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Excess weight is the single most important cause of type 2 diabetes. Being overweight increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes seven fold. Being obese makes you 20 to 40 times more likely to develop diabetes than someone with a healthy weight.
Losing weight can help if your weight is above the healthy-weight range. Losing 7 to 10 percent of your current weight can cut your chances of developing type 2 diabetes in half.
Losing five to seven percent of your body weight can cut your risk of developing prediabetes in half, and your risk decreases even more as you lose more weight. Learn how to manage your weight.
Along with overweight/obesity, physical inactivity ranks among the top modifiable risk factors for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Achieving at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity or a combination of the two with muscle-strengthening at least 2 days per week is important for your overall cardiovascular health.
Inactivity promotes type 2 diabetes. Working your muscles more often and making them work harder improves their ability to use insulin and absorb glucose. This puts less stress on your insulin-making cells.
Television-watching appears to be an especially-detrimental form of inactivity: Every two hours you spend watching TV instead of pursuing something more active increases the chances of developing Type 2 diabetes by 20 percent; it also increases the risk of heart disease (15 percent) and early death (13 percent).
3.High blood pressure (hypertension)
In addition to causing damage to the cardiovascular system, untreated high blood pressure has been linked to the development of diabetes.
4.Abnormal cholesterol (lipid) levels
Low HDL “good” cholesterol” and/or high triglycerides can increase the risk for Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The types of fats in your diet can also affect the development of diabetes. Good fats, such as the polyunsaturated fats found in liquid vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds can help ward off type 2 diabetes.
Trans fats do just the opposite. These bad fats are found in many margarines, packaged baked goods, fried foods in most fast-food restaurants, and any product that lists “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” on the label.
Eating polyunsaturated fats from fish—also known as “long chain omega 3” or “marine omega 3” fats—does not protect against diabetes, even though there is much evidence that these marine omega 3 fats help prevent heart disease. If you already have diabetes, eating fish can help protect you against a heart attack or dying from heart disease.
A healthy eating plan, sufficient aerobic physical activity, and a healthy weight can help improve abnormal lipids. Sometimes medications are necessary.
Choose whole grains and whole grain products over highly processed carbohydrates.
There is convincing evidence that diets rich in whole grains protect against diabetes, whereas diets rich in refined carbohydrates lead to increased risk .
Whole grains don’t contain a magical nutrient that fights diabetes and improves health. It’s the entire package—elements intact and working together—that’s important. The bran and fiber in whole grains make it more difficult for digestive enzymes to break down the starches into glucose. This leads to lower, slower increases in blood sugar and insulin, and a lower glycemic index.
As a result, they stress the body’s insulin-making machinery less, and so may help prevent type 2 diabetes.Whole grains are also rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that may help reduce the risk of diabetes.
In contrast, white bread, white rice, mashed potatoes, donuts, bagels, and many breakfast cereals have what’s called a high glycemic index and glycemic load.
That means they cause sustained spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels, which in turn may lead to increased diabetes risk.
Studys suggest that swapping whole grains for white rice could help lower diabetes risk: Researchers found that women and men who ate the most white rice—five or more servings a week—had a 17 percent higher risk of diabetes than those who ate white rice less than one time a month.
People who ate the most brown rice—two or more servings a week—had an 11 percent lower risk of diabetes than those who rarely ate brown rice.
Researchers estimate that swapping whole grains in place of even some white rice could lower diabetes risk by 36 percent.
Like refined grains, sugary beverages have a high glycemic load, and drinking more of this sugary stuff is associated with increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.
For every additional 12-ounce serving of sugary beverages that people drink each day, their risk of type 2 diabetes rises 25 percent.
What to drink in place of the sugary stuff? Water is an excellent choice. Coffee and tea are also good calorie-free substitutes for sugared beverages (as long as you don’t load them up with sugar and cream).
Limit red meat and avoid processed meat; choose nuts, whole grains, poultry, or fish instead.
The evidence is growing stronger that eating red meat (beef, pork, lamb) and processed red meat (bacon, hot dogs, deli meats) increases the risk of diabetes, even among people who consume only small amounts.
Researchers found that eating just one daily 3-ounce serving of red meat—say, a steak that’s about the size of a deck of cards—increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 20 percent.
The good news from this study: Swapping out red meat or processed red meat for a healthier protein source, such as nuts, low-fat dairy, poultry, or fish, or for whole grains lowered diabetes risk by up to 35 percent. Not surprisingly, the greatest reductions in risk came from ditching processed red meat.
Red and processed meats are a hallmark of the unhealthful “Western” dietary pattern, which seems to trigger Type 2 diabetes in people who are already at genetic risk.
Consider red meat a treat—not something to eat every day.
6.If You Smoke, Quit
Add type 2 diabetes to the long list of health problems linked with smoking. Smokers are roughly 50 percent more likely to develop diabetes than nonsmokers, and heavy smokers have an even higher risk.
7.Unwind every day
Chronic stress can send blood sugar levels soaring. When you’re stressed, your body is primed to take action. This gearing up causes your heart to beat faster, your breath to quicken, and your stomach to knot. But it also triggers your blood sugar levels to skyrocket.
Under stress, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode, raising blood sugar levels to prepare you for action.
If your cells are insulin resistant, the sugar builds up in your blood, with nowhere to go—leading to chronically high levels.
The good news is, simple relaxation exercises and other stress management moves can help you gain control over blood sugar levels.
Try these proven relaxers:
A.Start your day with prayer meditation, or a walk.
B.Take three deep, slow breaths before answering the phone, starting the car, serving lunch, or any other activity.
C.Reclaim a day for rest or fun with your family, relaxing, reading, etc. Try to avoid spending the whole day on obligatory errands such as mowing the lawn, grocery shopping, or catching up on work.
8.Get a Good night’s rest
Those who regularly get less than 6 hours of shut-eye double their diabetes risk.
For a good night’s rest, avoid caffeine after noon, leave work at the office, and skip late-night TV.
9.Have a blood test
Many diabetes symptoms are silent. A simple blood test can reveal whether sugar levels put you at risk for the condition.
People with prediabetes—slightly elevated blood sugar levels, between 100 and 125 mg/dl—often develop a full-blown case within 10 years.
Knowing your blood sugar levels are a little high can put you on a track to steadying them—with simple diet and exercise changes—before diabetes sets in and medications may be necessary.
Everyone 45 and older should have their blood sugar levels tested. Younger people who have risk factors such as being overweight, a family history, and high cholesterol and blood pressure should ask a doctor about getting tested sooner.
If results are normal, get tested again within 3 years. If you have prediabetes, blood sugar should be tested again in 1 to 2 years.
10.Keep medical appointments.
Warning signs of type 2 diabetes are less dramatic than those of type 1 diabetes. That’s why it’s important to see your doctor regularly.
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