Strategies to Help Prevent Diabetes

These simple strategies can help prevent diabetes or manage it over a lifetime.

| February/March 2006

  • The good news is that many factors that can reduce diabetes risk are within our control, such as diet and exercise.
    PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
  • A healthy diet is crucial for preventing and controlling diabetes. One strategy is to get more of the fats in your diet from plant sources, including nuts.
    ISTOCKPHOTO
  • Cinnamon helps bring down blood glucose, whether taken in capsules or mixed into food.
    ISTOCKPHOTO

It’s never too early to develop the healthy habits that can prevent diabetes, a disease that is all too common in the United States. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), 18.2 million Americans are diabetic, and another 16 million have pre-diabetes — elevated blood glucose levels that indicate they are developing the disease. In fact, a child born in the United States today has a one-in-three chance of developing diabetes during his or her lifetime, according to a 2003 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The good news is that many factors that can reduce the risk of diabetes are within our control. A healthy diet and regular exercise will help prevent diabetes. For those already diagnosed as diabetic, these healthy habits can help reduce symptoms, and a number of herbs and supplements are worth exploring, as well.

What Is Diabetes?

Awareness of this disease dates back to the first century or earlier, but only within the last 100 years have scientists been able to pin the problem on insulin, a hormone that is produced by the pancreas.

Insulin ushers glucose from the blood into the body’s tissues. In type 1 diabetes, also called insulin-dependent diabetes, the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin. This form of diabetes often begins in childhood or adolescence, so it is sometimes referred to as juvenile diabetes.



With type 2, or non-insulin-dependent diabetes, the pancreas produces insulin, but the body’s tissues do not respond to it. Reacting to the high levels of glucose in the blood, the pancreas produces even more insulin.

In both types of diabetes, the tissues are starved because they don’t receive enough glucose, leading to hunger and fatigue. Because the kidneys must excrete the excess glucose in the blood, frequent urination and excessive thirst are early symptoms of diabetes.

Manish
9/29/2008 9:24:39 PM

I have made one ppt for changing some life style and using natural herbs can prevent or overcome diabetes. I am ready to share with all the members to creat awareness. Thanks, Regards, Manish


Laurel
9/29/2008 1:44:21 PM

Julie & Bill B are 100% CORRECT! Dietary fat is not the enemy. Can't believe this so-called expert recommends low-fat & vegetarian lifestyles. These people who just toe the party line when it comes to nutrition are killing the good people of this country. Stop pushing the high-carb agenda!


Abifae
9/29/2008 1:26:57 PM

I came here to explain about the carbs, as well :) I know a few people who are entirely off insulin just through low carb! My blood sugar, too, is nearly under control with it (I produce too MUCH insulin). If you return to the diets our ancestors ate, instead of all the fast-paced induced snacks, sugars, and carbs we eat now, you'll have a much better chance at a long, healthy life.







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