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Understanding Diabetes Risk Factors and Methods for Preventing It

It is estimated that more than 37 million Americans suffer from diabetes and over four million people in the USA die every year from complications relating to the condition. Some of these statistics can be attributed to unavoidable risks such as family history or ethnic background but there are some risks that can be avoided. Here are the main risk factors of diabetes and methods for preventing it.

Risk Factors Of Diabetes

Weight

Weight is one of the biggest risk factors for diabetes as being overweight can increase the risk. You don’t have to be supermodel skinny, but you should aim to be a healthy body weight for your height. Losing as little as 5-10% of your weight can make a huge difference to your risk. 

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Diet

Even if you aren’t overweight, changing your diet can have a dramatic effect on your risk of developing diabetes as it will help to prevent your body from becoming overweight in the future as well as keep your organs healthy. 

You should not have to reduce your food intake to eat a healthy diet, but you may need to change what you eat. For example, eat safe snacks such as fruit and vegetables rather than reaching for the biscuits when you start to feel hungry, and this will help you to stay full up for longer and feel healthier. 

Exercise 

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Exercise will make your heart beat faster and help you to pump blood and oxygen around your body more effectively. This will make your organs work better and help you to regulate the amount of insulin your body produces. This is important as it is your body’s inability to produce correct amounts of insulin that causes diabetes. 

You do not have to be a supreme athlete. Increasing the amount of time that you spend walking or cycling rather than taking the car can make a significant difference and you can work this into your daily routine without having to spend hours at the gym. Rope in a friend to walk with you and you can turn exercising into a fun, sociable hobby rather than a chore. This means that you are more likely to enjoy doing it and keep it up. 

Stress

Stress can cause diabetes because it can raise the level of glucose in your blood which can lead to diabetes development. Everyone suffers from some stress in their lives, so the key here is to learn how to avoid feeling stressed and learn how to manage it when it does arise. Something as simple as counting to ten before responding in a situation or making sure you do something you enjoy at the weekends will make a significant difference. 

Sleep

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Not getting enough sleep can make you feel tired and cranky in the morning. However, if you suffer from sleepless nights regularly this could lead to diabetes because it can cause glucose intolerance. Regulating your sleep can help to prevent diabetes from developing. Aim to go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time too. Your body will get used to a routine and this will help it to function better. 

If you have trouble getting to sleep, have a warm bath or a soothing drink to help you relax and ban electronic devices such as your phone or laptop from your room. A bedtime routine will help you to unwind after a long day and get the most from a good night’s sleep.

Diabetes is a condition that concerns many people, but it is preventable. Follow these methods to reduce your chances of developing the disease and stay healthier for longer. 

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