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Defend yourself against diabetes

Posted on 11/16/2018
Glucose TestWeld County – National Diabetes Month is observed every November to raise awareness about this major public health issue. An estimated 30.3 million people in the United States have diabetes and 84.1 million have been diagnosed with prediabetes. In Weld County, 9.5% (or about 30,000) of the population has received a diagnosis of diabetes. The Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment (WCDPHE) says that when it comes to diabetes, prevention is key.

Defend yourself against prediabetes and type 2 by sticking to these lifestyle habits:

• Upping your lean muscle mass could lower your insulin resistance and drop your odds of developing prediabetes, according to The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Researchers found that for every 10 percent increase in muscle mass, people’s prediabetes risk fell by 12 percent. Build three days of resistance training into your weekly fitness plan and aim for at least two and a half hours a week of glucose-burning cardio activity such as running, cycling, or swimming.

• Long-term sleep deprivation may amp up the body’s insulin resistance, especially in people with a family history of diabetes. Those who regularly get fewer than six hours of sleep a night are at highest risk. Try to get at least seven hours of shut-eye each evening.

• Dietary fiber isn’t just good for digestion – it also curbs post-meal sugar spikes by slowing down the flow of glucose into the bloodstream. When you crave something sweet, opt for fiber-rich fruit such as raspberries or pears. Consider adding additional whole wheat foods and vegetables to your diet.

• Chronic stress is a risk factor for many major diseases, including diabetes. “When your body senses stress, it releases hormones that increase blood sugar,” says Dr. Mark E. Wallace, MD, MPH, Executive Director of WCDPHE. Regularly practicing deep breathing or meditation, listening to calming music, or getting outside to enjoy nature can quell stress hormones and help lower overall blood sugar, he says.

For more information and ideas on how to prevent or control diabetes, visit www.weldhealth.org.