Type 2 diabetes is a devastating illness that affects millions of people worldwide. Nearly 1.5 million people are diagnosed with the illness every year in the United States, and that number is expected to grow. Type 2 diabetes sufferers are at greater risk for developing other serious complications. For example, diabetics are 50% more likely to develop complications associated with heart disease. If left untreated, type 2 diabetes can lead to stroke, amputations, blindness, gum disease, tooth decay, kidney failure, or death.
Race, ethnicity, family history, age, and preexisting health conditions are risk factors that may heighten your chances of developing type 2 diabetes or related metabolic disorders, such as prediabetes and insulin resistance. African Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, Mexican Americans, Native Hawaiians, and American Indians are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes. These groups tend to have higher incidences of obesity and hypertension—two conditions that increase type 2 diabetes risk. Since adequate, and sometimes relatively costly, intervention measures are key to preventing and treating the illness, swelling impoverished populations multiply the impact of the burgeoning diabetes epidemic. Nonetheless, for many people proper lifestyle choices and treatments can reverse the incapacitating effects of type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms
Type 2 diabetes mellitus, otherwise known simply as type 2 diabetes, is a metabolic disorder that disrupts the way your cells normally process sugars in the blood. Your body converts the sugars that you consume from foods and beverages into glucose and raises your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels. Weight loss, unexplained weight gain, frequent urination, blurry vision, and frequent infections are common symptoms linked to type 2 diabetes.
Prediabetes is a precursor to diabetes and describes abnormally high blood sugar levels, but such a condition does not yet qualify as type 2 diabetes illness. Insulin resistance is another precursor to type 2 diabetes and often occurs when the body’s cells become insensitive to the presence of insulin the blood. When the body senses the presence of sugar in the blood, the pancreas releases the regulating hormone insulin to facilitate absorption of sugar into cells, particularly muscle cells. If blood sugar levels are too high for too long, your body can build an insensitivity to the presence of insulin, which causes blood sugar levels to remain high. In addition to type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance may lead to high cholesterol levels, arteriosclerosis, hypertension, and other serious diseases.
Type 2 Diabetes Prevention
Consistent and preemptive action is crucial for preventing the advancement of type 2 diabetes and related disorders. A blood test may screen for both blood glucose and insulin levels, so be sure to get regular check-ups with your primary care physician. If you exhibit exceptionally high blood sugar levels, your doctor may prescribe metformin—a pharmaceutical drug shown to be effective for preventing or treating type 2 diabetes.
Consistently, scientific data has supported what many in the medical community advocate regarding type 2 diabetes prevention. Conclusions published in the New England Journal of Medicine emphasize this compelling premise: healthy lifestyle choices are key to reversing type 2 diabetes cases whenever possible.
Natural Remedies for Type 2 Diabetes
Inactive lifestyles and excess body fat are suspected to be the leading causes for reversible type 2 diabetes cases. Did you know that there is a likely correlation with regard to prolonged television watching, diabetes manifestation, and subsequent death? Vigorous physical activity, as opposed to moderate activity, is most effective for preventing the illness, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. With a sensible diet at play, regularly biking to work, rather than walking, may significantly decrease your type 2 diabetes risk.
Sugars lurk in foods that you may not suspect have them. For instance, your body eventually converts starchy foods, like white breads, white potatoes, and white rice, into glucose—which increases blood sugar levels. The Archives of Internal Medicine released findings in 2007 that suggest that by simply introducing whole grains, like cereal fiber, into a diet may drastically decrease the risk for developing type 2 diabetes. So consider restraining your intake of refined carbohydrates or replacing them entirely with whole grain alternatives. Brown rice is a great substitute for white rice. Whole grain bread varieties contain more essential fiber than white sandwich buns or regular pizza crust do.
Regularly consuming a diet that includes legumes, dairy products, and meat can lead to a slimmer waistline and a lower type 2 diabetes risk. These foods contain branched-chain amino acids, such as leucine, isoleucine, and valine, which have been shown effective for combating obesity. However, consuming red meat, particularly processed red meat, may increase type 2 diabetes risk, according to a 2011 study.
Polyunsaturated fats may improve insulin sensitivity when consumed in moderation. The journal Progress in Lipid Research suggests a link between the polyunsaturated fat linoleic acid and improved glucose metabolism. Whenever possible, replace “bad” saturated and trans fats with polyunsaturated fats.
Probing your beverages when assessing type 2 diabetes risk can be tricky. Luckily, scientific data pertaining to certain drinks paints a clearer picture. Drinking coffee regularly was shown to reduce diabetes risk. On the other hand, consuming excess amounts of alcohol increased the illness risk according to a 2009 study published in the journal Diabetes Care. Soft drink consumption is deemed a major cause for skyrocketing type 2 diabetes diagnoses in recent years. Avoid sugary beverages, like soda, fruit-flavored drinks, and sweetened teas, as they tend to add on the pounds and heighten your type 2 diabetes risk.
Ingesting a few spoonfuls of apple cider vinegar with water may decrease blood sugar levels. Acetic acid in vinegar showed promising results for reducing diabetes risk and increasing satiety, which helps to counter obesity.
Cigarette smoking may increase your chance for developing type 2 diabetes, which adds to a list of dangerous ailments linked to smoking that includes heart disease and cancer. The Journal of the American Medical Association makes a good case for quitting the habit in a 2007 report that explores smoking levels and resultant type 2 diabetes risk.
Becoming more active and making healthier food choices are the major steps you can take to stop your reversible diabetes case. Consult a physician to discuss your options.
Type 2 Diabetes Treatment
If you have developed type 2 diabetes, there is still hope for managing and treating the disease. “Control” is the operative word. You should take extra precautions when making food choices, monitor your blood sugar levels routinely, and see your doctor regularly. Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes can cause severe damage and organ failure, especially for the eyes, nerves, and kidneys. The small blood vessels in these areas are particularly vulnerable to the illness. It is very important to consult a healthcare professional before making any changes to your prescribed medications, trying new remedies, or changing your exercise regimen.
Apply the aforementioned natural remedies for diabetes prevention with your doctor’s expressed endorsement. Meanwhile, focus on eating foods that naturally heal your organs. Onions, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and soy nurture the pancreas, which is the site of insulin production. Cauliflower, garlic, apples, and blueberries are good for helping the kidneys.
Medications for other conditions, like HIV, hormonal disorders, and mineral deficiencies, may compromise your insulin sensitivity. Seek organic alternatives whenever possible. Oregano, echinacea, olive leaf, and elderberry all exhibit natural antiretroviral properties and do not typically hinder your body’s metabolic processes. Be mindful that as you age your type 2 diabetes care needs may fluctuate. The severity of your case may limit your efforts for reversing complications associated with the illness.