Avoiding Type 2 Diabetes

With the growing global epidemic of type 2 diabetes, people can do their part to avoid becoming a statistic of this disease. This disease is preventable with important daily routines. Among them include exercise, managing a healthy diet, increasing fiber intake, and maintaining a good sleep schedule.

My initial diagnosis of this disease was anger and frustration, because the first thing that I remember saying to myself and my wife was, this cannot be happening, this disease should not have affected me. I got angry at myself because I had the opportunity to stop this disease from going full blown on me when I was diagnosed as being prediabetic. At that point is when I realized that I should have taken care of myself by eating healthier and exercising on a daily basis to have reduced the risk of being diagnosed with this disease.

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Once I got over the initial shock and anger stage, I began my journey of living with this disease by doing research and learning about the serious complications that can come out of this if I did not do my part to take care of my health. Going to support groups and gathering as much information as I could and establishing a daily exercise routine were one of the first steps that I did to begin to take control of my life and combating the serious long-term symptoms of type 2 diabetes.

I had the opportunity to combat this disease when I was first diagnosed as being prediabetic. My doctor recommended me to make lifestyle changes to avoid type 2 diabetes, I told him that I would do them, but I did not listen and now I have to live with the consequences of being so stubborn and very naive. That is the main reason that this disease is so near and I wouldnt say dear to my heart because I failed at the prediabetes stage and I made a promise to my mom, dad, wife and daughter that I would do everything in my power to live a healthy and prolonged life without any major complications from this disease.

My father was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes but it was way too late to try and help him neutralize or even control it. As his health began to deteriorate due to complications that were left untreated from this disease, doctors began by amputating one of his toes on his right foot that had contracted gangrene, they then proceeded to amputate a secondary toe, then his ankle, and eventually up to his knee before he succumbed to his ultimate death due to the complications that were brought on by this terrible disease. My father was and still is my hero today and that is why I want to show him that I can defeat or at least maintain this disease in check. I also made a promise to my wife and my now eighteen-year old daughter that I would do everything in my power to be there for both of them because I wanted to see my little girl grow up and eventually be able to walk her down the aisle when she decides to get married.

Information accumulated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) demonstrates that more than “100 million American adults have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.” (Masters par. 2). According to data from the CDC, of the 30.3 million Americans that have type 2 diabetes, 7.2 million, or 1 in 4 adults are not aware that they are currently living with this disorder.” (Masters par. 3).

Globally, these numbers are even more astounding. As of 2012, more than 371 million adults had diabetes with an astonishing 90% of these diabetes cases being diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Forecasts are that by 2030, the number of people who will be diagnosed with this disease will rise to an estimate of 552 million adults worldwide. (Pratley par. 2). Due to these staggering statistics, diabetes has become one of the top ten leading causes of premature deaths mainly due to associated cardiovascular disease (CVD). (Pratley par. 2).

In Richard E. Pratleys article, The Early Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes, he discusses that globally, type 2 diabetes is among the leading causes of early deaths among people who contract this disease. Even though there have been many medical advances in the health care industry, diabetes continues to be a major epidemic that is mainly due to associated cardiovascular disease (CVD). (Pratley par. 2).
Type 2 diabetes has many complications that can be fatal if management of this disease is not taken seriously. Heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage, leg and foot amputations, and even death are among the results that a person can wind up with if they do not manage this disease appropriately.

Diabetes occurs in two stages with the initial one being a warning that you are at a high risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The first stage is known as prediabetes, this stage occurs when your blood (glucose) sugar level is higher than normal but not yet high enough to be type 2 diabetes. At this point, if drastic lifestyle changes are not made by a person, then it will inevitably progress to type 2 diabetes. Good news is that by eating healthy foods, adding physical activity to your daily routine, and managing a healthy weight can help bring your blood (glucose) sugar level back to normal.

The next stage is the full diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed in a person when their A1C level is of at least 6.5 or higher on two separate occasions. A1C is a persons average blood (glucose) sugar levels over a two to three-month period.
When a person is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it is because their body does not make enough insulin or the body cannot use the insulin it produces. Type 2 diabetes has many complications that can be fatal if management of this disease is not taken seriously. Heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage, leg and foot amputations, and even death are among the results that a person can wind up with if they do not manage this disease appropriately.

A person can prevent diagnosis of this disease through diet, exercise, weight control and, if needed, medication. For a healthy diet, a person can begin by reducing portion sizes, attempt to eat smaller portions. Attempt to keep chicken, meat, fish, and turkey rations to 3 ounces. (NIDDK par. 2). Drink a large glass of water about ten minutes prior to eating so you feel less hungry. (NIDDK par. 2) Choose to eat more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Cut back on high-fat foods like whole milk, cheeses, and fried foods. Utilize teaspoons, child-size forks, spoons and knives to assist you in taking smaller bites, therefore you eat less. (NIDDK par. 3). Eat slow, it takes approximately twenty minutes before your stomach sends a signal to your brain to let it know you are full. Incorporate music listening instead of TV viewing (people tend to eat more while they watch TV). (NIDDK par. 3).

Exercising is a great way to burn calories and lose weight. Walking is the perfect way a person can begin to incorporate an exercise regimen to their daily lives. Begin with walking at least thirty minutes, five times a week. As you become a little bit more active, you can begin to incorporate bike riding, swimming, and even dancing into your daily routine.

Maintain a continuous activity all day by using stairs instead of elevators and move around if possible. Strength training (lifting light weights) is very beneficial and you can do these types of exercises a couple of times a week.
Lose weight and keep it off is the best way to avoid running the risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. A person should lose five to seven percent of their beginning weight. As an example, my weight was at 226.1 on November 1, I began to eat less and do a lot of walking (averaging 15K steps daily) and as of yesterday night, my weight had dropped to 217.6. I still need to get down to about 210 to lose the seven percent that I need to lose.

Granted, I am already living with type 2 diabetes, but I am doing this to help myself feel healthier and overall feel much better than having those extra additional sixteen pounds that I had. Metformin is the medication most prescribed by doctors that along with lifestyle changes can help reduce a persons A1C blood sugar (glucose) levels.

There are many ways that a person can incorporate a healthy diet, exercise, and maintain a healthy weight to avoid falling victim to this disease. A person should not make the same mistake I did and ignore the recommendations that your doctor tells you to do (lifestyle changes) before it is too late and you unfortunately are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. A person that has a wife/husband and children should use his/her family as motivation to push themselves to eat healthier and exercise as a whole family, that way you can be the driving force behind protecting your family from this disease.  

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