Diabetes Treatment and Prevention
Are you at high risk for diabetes? If you are at risk but have not been diagnosed with diabetes, then it's time to think about how to prevent diabetes. Since there is no true cure for diabetes, prevention is your best option.
Diabetes Prevention - Focus on a Healthier You
Diabetes prevention at its basic level is fairly simple. Focusing on a healthier you means lowering your risk of developing diabetes. This begins with being more active. Both aerobic and strength training can help lower your risk of diabetes, so choose a routine that includes both types of activity.
Regular physical activity can do much for your body. In part, it helps lower your blood sugar and boosts your sensitivity to insulin. This goes far in helping to prevent diabetes. It also helps you lose weight.
Losing weight is also highly effective in helping to fight diabetes. Weight loss doesn't have to be significant to lower your risk of developing diabetes, either. Losing approximately 7 percent of your initial body weight, combined with regular exercise, can lower your risk of developing diabetes by as much as 60 percent, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Diabetes Prevention - Maintain a Healthy Diet
Considering diabetes and diet are so closely linked, it should come as no surprise that focusing on a healthier diet can help prevent diabetes. In fact, if you develop diabetes, it can be controlled through diet and diabetes medication. Learning to eat a healthy, balanced diet now will only help in the future.
As you consider diet changes, first add fiber to your diet. Fiber improves blood sugar control, which is key to preventing diabetes. It also helps you feel full faster, so you will likely lose a little weight when you fill up on fiber. Beans, seeds, nuts and produce are all good sources of fiber.
Use smaller portions and smaller plates to ensure that you are not overeating. Do not eat while you are watching TV, as this could encourage you to eat more than you need. Eat slowly, so your body has a chance to register that you are full. By following these rules, you will be able to control your diet more effectively.
If, in spite of your best efforts at preventing the condition, you find that you are diagnosed with diabetes, the medical field has many diabetes medications to treat your condition. Both oral and injected medications can help prevent blood sugar swings and metabolize insulin more effectively. While these medications cannot be considered a diabetes cure, as they do not stop the condition and must be continued, they can help you enjoy a normal life while managing diabetes.
Guillermo Umpierrez, MD
Emory University School of Medicine
Margaret Eckert-Norton, PhD
Last Updated: May 2013