5 Natural Ways to Prevent Diabetes
A few years ago, my sister discovered she had prediabetes after a routine blood test. For her, daily insulin injections and the health problems that come with diabetes were no mere abstraction. She had been giving our mother insulin shots and taking her to doctors’ appointments for years — and she did not want to travel the same path.
So she began a regimen to avoid getting type 2 diabetes. She lost weight (about 10 percent of her body weight), began daily walks and exercise, and started paying close attention to her diet and caloric intake. To help keep her blood glucose level within a normal range, she also monitors her blood sugar and takes metformin, which targets the body’s insulin resistance rather than increasing insulin production. So far, she has averted full-blown diabetes and its consequences.
My sister is one of 79 million Americans over the age of 20 who have been diagnosed as prediabetic. More sobering statistics, however, are these: 90 percent don’t know they’re at risk and 70 percent will go on to develop diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Even more significant is that type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 95 percent of diabetes cases, is highly preventable.
Insulin is the central, underlying problem in developing diabetes. A hormone produced by the pancreas, insulin moves glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream into liver, muscle, and fat cells. Without insulin, blood glucose levels climb, leading to tissue damage and starving cells.
In type 1 diabetes the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin. In type 2 diabetes the pancrea Continue reading