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.
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.