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Diabetes and its Possible Prevention

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Diabetes and its Possible Prevention

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Diabetes is a fast-spreading disease. The following article details the prevention of diabetes mellitus.

Written by

Dr. Anil Philip

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At November 14, 2016
Reviewed AtJuly 12, 2023

Introduction

In a mercurial and fast-moving world, novel diseases strike humans quickly. Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a disease in which patients have high blood glucose levels. It occurs because their bodies do not make adequate insulin (a hormone that metabolizes blood glucose into energy).DM is a silent killer and one of the most prevalent conditions worldwide. It has complex and damaging complications. The younger generation was previously known to have type 1 DM. However, the frequency of type 2 DM is increasing in young individuals. Hence, it is important for timely prevention of the same.

What Are the Important Risk Factors of Diabetes Mellitus Type 2?

Certain factors play an essential role in type 2 DM onset. Genetic and environmental factors are linked with type 2 DM. However, common risk factors are:

1. Obesity: About 90 percent of type 2 DM patients are obese. Obesity promotes cellular insulin resistance. Also, it prompts chronic low-grade inflammation.

2. Sedentary Lifestyle: Various studies depict that a sedentary lifestyle is one of the major causes of developing type 2 DM. The sedentary activities are watching television, playing board games, reading, writing, and sewing. However, watching television is worse than the other mentioned activities. It is because the metabolic rate is lowest while watching television. Hence, physicians recommend regular physical activity to combat the sedentary lifestyle.

3. Aging: Aging is another risk factor. The biggest reason is that the human body gets insensitive to insulin with age. In addition, the beta-cells (cells that produce insulin) get altered or make insufficient insulin.

4. Smoking and Alcohol: There is a threshold value for alcohol intake in causing type 2 DM. Above the threshold, alcohol consumption increases the risk of type 2 DM. Chronic smoking leads to insulin insensitivity from nicotine (the active chemical in smoke). Moreover, studies suggest that nicotine patches also decrease the effect of insulin. Hence, nicotine is an active compound causing type 2 DM.

5. Hypertension: Type 2 DM and hypertension (increased blood pressure disorder) are interrelated.

What Are the Measures for the Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus?

Pre-diabetes occurs before DM.Appropriate measures towards pre-diabetes can prevent long-term complications of type 2 DM. The following can prevent the onset of type 2 DM.

  • Maintain ideal body weight. It is because an optimum weight loss plan can prevent type 2 DM. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) advises people suffering from prediabetes to lose seven to ten percent of their body weight to prevent disease progression. The ADA further suggests that more weight loss translates into more benefits. Hence, set a weight-loss goal based on the current body weight. Talk to the doctor about reasonable short-term goals and expectations.

  • Avoid sedentary habits, such as two or more hours of watching television, surfing the internet, gaming, sitting jobs, and getting excess sleep. All the activities increase the risk by about 20 percent. Increase physical activity like brisk walking, stairs, light stretching exercises, skipping, jogging, cycling, and swimming. There are many advantages to regular physical activity. Exercise can help weight loss, lower blood glucose, and boost insulin sensitivity. All these can keep blood glucose within a normal range.

  • Restrict carbohydrate-rich diet as it increases the risk by 30 percent. Consume whole grain cereals containing bran and fiber. These lead to a gradual increase in blood sugar, hence lower insulin and glycemic index. As a result, it leads to less stress on the insulin-producing mechanism. Therefore, it helps in preventing type 2 DM.

  • Prefer coarsely ground whole wheat flour and brown parboiled rice. The risk of type 2 DM decreases by about 40 percent because of a nutritious diet intake.

  • Avoid or limit finely ground wheat flour, raw white rice, fried potatoes, and tapioca.

  • Limit the intake of junk food, noodles, pasta, biscuits, pastries, cakes, sweetmeats, candies, soft drinks, and fruit juices. All of them contain excess sugar which contributes to a high level of triglycerides (TGs) and increased cholesterol. TGs and cholesterol increase insulin resistance contributing to the risk of type 2 DM.

  • Choosing good polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) from vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds can also prevent type 2 DM. Both monounsaturated (MUFAs) and PUFAs promote healthy blood cholesterol levels and vascular health. Sources of good fats include olives, sunflowers, safflowers, cotton seeds, and canola oils. Nuts, such as almonds, peanuts, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds, and fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna are also good fat sources.

  • Avoid red meat. Also, consuming healthier proteins such as legumes, soya, low-fat dairy, poultry, and fish can reduce risk by up to 35 percent. Plants provide vitamins, minerals, and essential trace elements. Dietary fiber (roughage or bulk) is also beneficial. Fiber-rich foods potentiate weight loss and decrease the risk of type 2 DM. Eat a variety of healthy, fiber-rich foods, which include fruits, such as tomatoes, peppers, and fruits. Leafy vegetables, broccoli, and cauliflower should be consumed.

  • A simple strategy for good food choice and appropriate portion size is the food plate division. It includes half fruit and non-starchy vegetables, a quarter of whole grains, and protein-rich foods, such as fish or lean meats.

When to Visit a Doctor Regarding a Check-up for Diabetes Mellitus?

Prediabetes is a condition that signals the disease possibility. The signs that prompt a visit to the doctor are increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, and blurred vision. Prediabetes further increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Routine screening is recommended with diagnostic tests for type 2 DM for adults age 45 or above and:

  • People younger than 45 who are obese, and have one or more risk factors linked to type 2 DM.

  • Women who have gestational diabetes need routine doctor visits. Gestational diabetes is the type of DM diagnosed during pregnancy.

  • People who have been diagnosed with prediabetes.

  • Children who are obese and have a family history of type 2 DM.

Further, a patient can test blood glucose at home via a glucometer. It is a portable and convenient device to assess blood glucose levels. Pre-diabetes can progress to diabetes if not managed beforehand.

Conclusion

With every country’s attention on managing type 2 DM, there is an urgent need for multidimensional awareness regarding the disease. Besides, by having good knowledge of type 2 DM and adopting lifestyle changes, disease prevention can be achieved.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

What Is the Normal Level of Blood Sugar According to Age?

For children younger than 6 years the normal blood sugar level is 100 to 180 mg/dL. For children (6 to 12 years old) the normal blood sugar level is 90 to 180 mg/dL. For children (13 to 19 years) and adults, the normal level of blood sugar is 90 to 130 mg/dL.

2.

Is Diabetes Considered a Disease?

Diabetes is a chronic disease caused by a lack of insulin production from the pancreas. The body is unable to use insulin normally, causing diabetes. Diabetes affects the energy production of the body, causing lethargy and tiredness.

3.

What Is the Primary Cause of Diabetes?

Diabetes is mainly caused by genetics and poor lifestyle. In some cases, it is caused by environmental factors, such as the virus that causes the immune system to attack the body’s own pancreatic cells (beta cells) that produce insulin.

4.

Which Food Items Cause Diabetes?

Diabetes is mainly caused by consuming sweetened food or beverages, processed food, and fried foods. Also, food containing fat such as meat, cheese, or milk raises the blood sugar level, and this can cause diabetes too. Furthermore, few of the studies also prove stress at some level also causes diabetes.

5.

Can Stress Be the Reason for Diabetes?

It is very unlikely that stress alone causes diabetes. However, it can increase the cortisol level of the body. This can further increase the inflammation of the body, which in turn can affect insulation production and blood glucose level.

6.

How does Insufficient Sleep Causes Diabetes?

There are few studies showing that an obscene amount of sleep can cause diabetes. It has been proven that poor or oversleeping can negatively affect the body's insulin level. In turn, the fluctuation in insulin level affects the blood sugar level too, which causes diabetes.

7.

How Many Hours of Sleep Is Enough for a Diabetic Patient?

Sleep is a very important factor in maintaining normal body function. It is advisable to sleep for at least seven hours every night to keep the blood sugar level in check. It not only balances the blood sugar level but also provides other health benefits too.

8.

Is a Person’s Memory Affected By Diabetes?

If the patient has uncontrolled diabetes, there are chances of altered or damaged cognitive function of the brain. This can cause confusion or memory loss. Moreover, the study shows higher chances of dementia or Alzheimer's disease in persons with uncontrolled diabetes.

9.

Can Diabetic Person Have headaches?

If the patient has a high blood sugar level, it can cause headaches of a moderate to severe nature. Also, it can cause other complications, such as loss of consciousness and loss of focus. There are a few causes behind headaches in diabetic people, such as the adverse effect of the medications, sudden fluctuations in blood sugar level, or newly started medication therapy.

10.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms Associated With Diabetes?

High blood sugar levels can cause blurred vision, tiredness, weight loss, recurrent infections, dry mouth, and an urge to urinate frequently. Also, diabetic people have a slow healing capacity. Lastly, diabetes affects the mental health of the patients causing frequent and sudden mood changes too.

11.

What Are the Primary Signs of Diabetes?

There are three main signs of diabetes. For instance, a frequent urge to urinate, an increase in thirst, and a rise in appetite. Other than these, depending on the severity other systems of the body are also affected.

12.

What Are the Prevention Measures for Diabetes?

To prevent diabetes, a person should take some extra care and make some lifestyle changes. For instance, losing weight by exercising and following a healthy diet can make a vast difference. Additionally, proper sleep can be very effective in keeping blood sugar levels normal.

13.

Is There Any Cure for Diabetes?

There is no cure for diabetes at the moment. However, the symptoms can be managed with lifestyle changes and eating healthy. Additionally, there are some medications available in the market to maintain the insulin level of the body, and that can be effective in managing diabetes.

14.

What Is the Usual Treatment Given for Diabetes?

Usually, diabetes can be managed by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and following a proper diet. Other than that, Metformin is the most frequently used medication for type 2 diabetes. It lowers glucose production and improves insulin productivity.
Source Article IclonSourcesSource Article Arrow
Dr. Anil Philip
Dr. Anil Philip

Homeopathy

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prediabetesdiabeteshigh fibre diet
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