November is American Diabetes Month
A recent study found that a combination of 5 healthy lifestyle factors may help reduce the chance of developing type 2 diabetes, even if family history puts you at risk for the disease.
People with diabetes have too high levels of glucose, a type of sugar, in their blood. Over time, high levels of glucose can lead to heart disease, stroke, blindness, and other problems.
Several lifestyle factors can reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease. A research team led by Dr. Jared Reis of NIH studied 5 factors:
- having a healthy diet,
- keeping an ideal body weight,
- being physically active,
- not smoking, and
- minimizing alcohol use
The team used data collected in the mid-1990s from more than 200,000 older adults. They then looked to see who had developed diabetes over the next decade.
The analysis showed that the more healthy lifestyle factors adopted, the lower the risk for diabetes. Men with all 5 healthy lifestyle factors had a 72% lower risk of developing diabetes. Women had an 84% lower risk.
A family history of diabetes is strongly linked to type 2 diabetes. But these results show that you may still be able to prevent or delay the disease by leading a healthy lifestyle.
“Not being overweight or obese led to the greatest protection,” Reis says. “However, we found that overweight or obese adults with a greater number of the other healthy lifestyle factors had a lower risk of developing diabetes. This is good news because it suggests that overweight or obese adults can benefit by adopting other healthy lifestyle behaviors.”
Source: National Institutes of Health, Five Lifestyle Factors that Lower Diabetes, https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2011/10/five-lifestyle-factors-lower-diabet…, retrieved 11/6/2018
Explore Common Misconceptions About Diabetes
The American Diabetes Association published a list of common diabetes myths and corresponding facts that debunk them. Access the resource published on their website, via this link.
Are You at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes?
Take a simple assessment to find out if you are at risk for diabetes. If your results indicate you may be a risk, talk to your health care provider about a plan to help you stay healthy. Access the assessment here.
Deep Dive Into Diabetes
If you would like to learn more about diabetes, explore the resources provided by the National Institutes of Health. Learn the basics of what it is, the different types, associated health problems, symptoms and causes, managing the disease, information on prevention, and more. These resources can be accessed via this link.