What causes prediabetes, Type 2 diabetes and how to prevent it?

Our health care system is amazing, the best the world has ever seen. Is it perfect? No, of course not, nothing ever is, which means it can be improved. How so?

For starters, we need to recognize the greatest challenges confronting our health care system that can be improved and take steps to improve them. Unfortunately, we continually depend on medical science to keep us a step ahead, but that’s like trying to remove water from a boat with a hole in the bottom. It’s time for us to wake up, acknowledge the problem, and take meaningful steps in the right direction.

Let’s begin with recognizing that despite our wealth and prosperity, or perhaps because of it, we Americans “live sicker and die quicker” than virtually every other industrialized society.

Why? Our lifestyle seems to have been crafted to promote chronic diseases, and we keep getting better at it. Look at the American diet, loaded with processed foods high in saturated fat and sugar. In addition, because food is plentiful and readily accessible, we eat far too much. Combine our horrible diet with a sedentary lifestyle and the result is a fat society.

Kentucky has the nation’s fifth-highest rate of obesity, according to the 2013 federal Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey.

How fat are we? Recent data indicates that 32.5% of Americans are overweight, 37.7% are obese, and 7.7% are morbidly obese (100 or more pounds above ideal body weight). In total, 77.9% of Americans have a weight problem.

How sedentary are we? The latest data indicates that 77% of adult Americans are sedentary, and only 23% of Americans get sufficient regular exercise. Minimal guidelines suggest at least 150 minutes per week (about 20 minutes daily) of moderate aerobic exercise (brisk walking), or 75 minutes per week of vigorous “workout” exercise, plus twice a week resistance training to sustain muscle mass.

What causes prediabetes? How can I prevent it? 

Diabetes     About half of people with type 2 diabetes struggle with sleep problems, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Sleep deprivation can lead to less insulin, which controls blood sugar levels, and more cortisol, which further hinders insulin's job. The combination leads to high blood sugar levels, which can lead to insomnia. Sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome, a condition in which a person has an irresistible urge to move the legs at night, are common among diabetics.    ALSO READ: States Where People Are Getting the Most Sleep

Too much body fat and too little exercise is the perfect formula for promoting prediabetes (also called metabolic syndrome). Prediabetes precedes Type 2 diabetes (T2d, and it’s important to understand what this means, and the distinction between Type 1 diabetes (T1d) versus T2d.

When it comes to diabetes, in general, it simply means that you are not regulating your blood glucose (sugar) concentration effectively, leading to an accumulation of glucose in the blood. Too much blood glucose causes all sorts of health problems, including the destruction of tiny blood vessels leading to blindness and amputations, plus it’s a key risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure.

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In honor of American Diabetes Alert Day on March 23, get to know the signs and symptoms of these serious yet manageable conditions.

The problem of too much glucose in the blood can be caused in two different ways.

In T1d, the pancreas gland is not working properly to release insulin. Insulin is necessary to escort glucose into the cells, and without insulin, glucose remains in the blood. T1d typically is detected early in life, and the cause is an autoimmune disorder that destroys pancreas cells that produce insulin. Of all the diagnosed diabetics in the U.S., only about 5% (1.25 million) are T1d.


Aish Barbara

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