Diabetes is in the news a lot lately. More Americans have this metabolic condition than ever before. Developing diabetes isn't inevitable for most people. However, there are plenty of prevention strategies. PrimeCare Urgent Care would like you to know about these tips so you can prevent diabetes.
If there is one single diabetes prevention strategy you should follow, this is it. Excess weight creates a condition known as metabolic syndrome. Your body becomes less responsive to insulin, the hormone that regulates your blood sugar. When your blood sugar is consistently above normal, it causes damage to every cell in the body. You don't have to be model-thin, and every pound you lose helps improve the situation.
To lose weight, you need to smarten up. You can't cold turkey food the way you might smoking, so you need to learn to eat smarter. Ditch the processed foods and refined grains. Make sure you have some high-quality protein and healthy fats at every meal. Practice portion control. Fresh fruits and veggies offer fiber, vitamins, and minerals – make sure they are on your plate at every meal. They make good snack choices too. Limit alcohol, as it increases calories and lowers inhibitions, which can foster binging.
Regular exercise builds muscle mass, which increases your metabolic rate. It also burns calories. A good exercise program incorporates aerobic exercise, stretching and flexibility activities, balance exercise and strength-building. Take a brisk 30-minute walk every day. Practice yoga or tai chi and get in some strength-training several times a week. In addition to its other benefits, regular exercise promotes better sleep.
Get Enough Sleep
Speaking of sleep, don't overlook the impact of a restful night. Going short on sleep has all sorts of negative effects on your body. People who have disrupted sleep cycles or who are habitually sleep deprived have a significantly increased risk of obesity and diabetes. Practice good sleep hygiene – back off the electronics two hours before bedtime, sleep in a cool, dark room and limit or eliminate caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine.
You probably know about the connection between smoking and lung cancer or heart disease. But smoking also increases your insulin resistance. That's using nicotine in any form, not just cigarettes, and includes electronic cigarettes. Smoking can also have a negative impact on sleep because nicotine is a stimulant. Many people use nicotine as a stress-reliever, but there are better ways to manage stress – exercise and meditation are two good ones.
Talk to Your Doctor
You should know that you're not in this alone. Your doctor can help with your efforts to get and stay healthy. At PrimeCare Urgent Care, we would much rather focus on prevention and promote health than treat disease, so give us a call. Whether it's diabetes testing, basic preventive care or health-improvement strategies, we're in your corner. We serve Cummings, Georgia and the surrounding area of Forsyth County.