It is estimated that over 21 million Americans suffer from type 2 diabetes, and over 1.2 million adults and children suffer from type 1 diabetes.
Diabetes is a disease that occurs due to low levels of insulin production (type 1) or high levels of sugar or glucose that the body cannot process (type 2).
Now, given the above statistics, it’s safe to say that a family history of diabetes is fairly common. However, this shouldn’t be a reason to stop you from living your life. There are plenty of ways for you and your family to lead a perfectly healthy, happy life while overcoming whatever genetic predispositions you may have.
1. Keep the Risk Factors in Check
While your family history might be something you’re worried about, don’t ignore the other factors that increase your risk of diabetes.
For one, being overweight or obese can significantly increase your chances of type 2 diabetes along with various other diseases as well. Additionally, factors like aging, PCOS, high blood pressure, poor eating habits, low testosterone in men and high cholesterol also increases the risk of diabetes.
Make sure you get treated for these as soon as you can and take any medication prescribed regularly to avoid complications in the future. Most diseases are connected in some way or the other. So be sure to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle!
2. Add Movement to Your Day
Movement is good for you. And this statement truly does not discriminate. You don’t have to hit the gym five days a week for it to classify as “movement.”
Simply incorporating more activity into your day like walking, swimming, running, cycling, taking the stairs, dancing or anything else you may enjoy, is good enough. And you can do these things anywhere you like! You can walk around a mall, take your dog out around the block, you can dance in your bedroom, or schedule a morning workout, just – move!
To make this truly sustainable, find something you like to do, and incorporate it into your daily routine. Not only will this give you more energy and do wonders for both your physical and mental health, but it will help you keep your weight under control.
3. Practice Healthier Eating Habits
No, we aren’t suggesting going on some crazy restrictive diet – they probably won’t last very long, anyway. Much like the movement principle, it’s all about creating a lifestyle that you can sustain.
The truth is, everything is good for you – in moderation. So the trick then becomes to avoid extremes. Don’t have too much, but there’s no need to have too little either!
People tend to swing between restricting themselves too much and then having to binge when the cravings become far too overwhelming to control. So yes, you can definitely enjoy a slice of cake or two, but just make sure you don’t overdo it. If you are overweight, then do consider going on a caloric deficit, until you reach a healthy weight that you can maintain.
Excess weight gain increases the number of fat molecules in the body which can then reduce your overall sensitivity to insulin.
If you have a thyroid issue, PCOS, an eating disorder, a testosterone deficiency or any other uncontrollable factor that makes weight loss more difficult, do consult a doctor, dietician or psychiatrist on what you can do about it. It can be disheartening, but with the right mindset and support, you can accomplish a healthier lifestyle!
4. Get the Whole Family on Board
Hey, nobody said you had to do this alone! Get the whole family on board. If you’ve got a family history of diabetes (or even if you don’t), you can all benefit from pursuing a healthier lifestyle!
Keep each other motivated, give each other support and work together to accomplish a better way of living. Perhaps, you can all take a family walk in the park, or cook delicious, nutritious meals. Whatever it is, the effect of a support system around you can really keep you going, especially in times where you feel like giving up.
If you have young kids, make sure they’re getting their daily dose of activity as well.
5. Get Tested Regularly
If you are more prone to diabetes than the average person, do make it a point to get regularly tested. It’s important to keep your blood sugar levels in check, based on which you can alter your lifestyle to improve any deficiency or abnormal fluctuations you may have.
Regular tests will also help you eliminate any anxiety of “not knowing” or fear of diabetes you have. Given that aging can be a contributing risk to diabetes, it is important that you get yourself tested at least by or beyond the age of 40.
Don’t Let a Family History of Diabetes Stop You From Living Your Life
A family history of diabetes doesn’t have to be your future. Just make sure you’re doing what’s in your control to lead a healthy life, and the rest will take care of itself.
If you do happen to have diabetes or prediabetes, just know that it isn’t the end of the world. There’s still plenty more for you to do and with the right balance of medications, you will still be able to lead a normal life.
Looking to make that first step? Check out our diverse range of facilities and schedule an appointment for a simple test or a complete health analysis!