Would it shock you to learn that out of Florida’s nearly 21.5 million residents, almost 11% of them, or two million, live with diabetes? Equally serious is the fact that many others are pre-diabetic, but have no idea.
Diabetes occurs when glucose, your body’s main, food-provided energy source stays in your bloodstream rather than traveling to your cells and providing them with energy.
Insulin, which is produced by your pancreas, is what keeps your blood sugar in check. When your body can’t produce any or enough insulin, your blood sugar rises to dangerous levels.
Diabetes isn’t a disease to be trifled with. It causes all kinds of serious complications, including vision loss and neuropathy that can lead to limb amputation.
Dr. Gurprit Sekhon not only provides expert treatment to her patients living with diabetes, but she also educates you on preventive practices you can adopt to reduce your chances of being diagnosed with diabetes in the future. Dr. Sekhon is your ally in care and helping you maintain a healthy lifestyle is pivotal to diabetes prevention.
Our top five tips for reducing your risk for diabetes
You’ll be amazed at what a measurable difference in adopting these habits can make when it comes to slashing your diabetes risk. Dr. Sekhon and our team follow all the latest medical literature on diabetes prevention and love educating patients on the most impactful things they can do to prevent diabetes.
Here are five tips to reduce your risk for diabetes:
1. Keep moving!
You’ve heard it many times before, but daily exercise is key to controlling your weight, and excess weight and obesity are major contributors to the unstable blood glucose levels that lead to diabetes.
Combining aerobic and strength resistance exercises is ideal. This can be as simple as walking, swimming, or taking a dance class and using free weights or resistance bands several times a week.
2. What goes in your mouth matters a lot
It’s important to eat a “rainbow diet” rich in many types of fruits and vegetables but also aim for whole foods over processed foods, and foods that are high in fiber. Sugar and refined carbohydrates aren’t good, and neither are sugary drinks filled with empty calories, so sticking with water is your best bet.
In the end, it’s all about which foods don’t stress your pancreas into going into overdrive to produce insulin.
3. Banish the butts
The cigarette butts, that is. Although you’re likely aware of a multitude of reasons to quit smoking, this may be the most compelling one of all. Research has shown that both smoking and inhaling second-hand smoke increases your risk for diabetes, so don’t take any chances.
Multiple studies illustrate smoking’s harmful effects in this regard: Those who smoked 20 or more cigarettes per day increased their risk for type 2 diabetes by over 60%, while those who smoked a moderate amount raised their risk by 44% — neither are favorable percentages.
4. Stress less
The feeling of being stressed is also accompanied by the release of hormones that cause an increase in your blood sugar.
The good news is there are lots of ways you can reduce stress, and they’re all enjoyable. These include meditation, yoga, watching a funny film, relaxing with a cup of tea, unplugging from technology for an hour, or hanging out with a friend.
5. Don’t skip your check-ups
Type 2 diabetes can sneak up on you, so it’s important to see Dr. Sekhon on a regular basis and never forgo your annual physical.
If you struggle with your weight, Dr. Sekhon offers counseling on weight loss and practical programs that are geared to your lifestyle so you can reach and maintain a healthy weight — an absolute essential when it comes to reducing your diabetes risk.
Learn more about your risk for diabetes
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Sekhon to discuss your risk for diabetes, and how we can help maintain your health. Call our office or contact us through our website. If you prefer to schedule a virtual visit, we can accommodate you in that way as well.