Over 18 million people in the US have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Affecting over 6% of Americans, diabetes is one of the most prevalent medical conditions the US. Many people don’t even realize that they have diabetes. The initial symptoms are fairly mild, so roughly 30% of the people with diabetes are not even aware of it.(1)
With so many unaware that they have diabetes, what are the early warning signs? Frequent urination, dizziness or fatigue may be early signs of diabetes. Anyone with these symptoms may want see a doctor for additional testing. The sooner that diabetes is diagnosed, the better the outcome, treatment, and management of the condition. If you are fortunate to have caught diabetes early, you can make some lifestyle changes that can help to treat it. Although there is no cure, diabetes can be managed effectively.
One of the best things that you can do to prevent Type 2 diabetes is to start exercising on a regular basis. Exercise will build and strengthen muscles, including the heart.(2) It will lower blood pressure, strengthen the immune and respiratory systems, it will ease stress and fatigue, and will just make you feel much better in general. Remember that the mind and the body are directly connected, so taking care of both is essential. Exercise will also help people with diabetes to improve the way that their body uses blood glucose and insulin.
A poor diet can often contribute to the root cause of diabetes. Reducing the amount of junk food that you eat and making sure to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meats on a regular basis will help greatly. Staying hydrated is another essential step that is overlooked far too often. You may also want to consider taking various vitamins and supplements.(3) Before going on a supplement regimen, make sure that you speak to your doctor so that you can be sure that it will be beneficial.
It is important that people with diabetes are vigilant with their dental care procedures. The high levels of sugar in the mouth can make people with diabetes much more susceptible to periodontal disease, as well as other oral issues.(4) Regular brushing and flossing is crucial, as is bi-yearly visits to the dentist for checkups and maintenance. Diabetes is also the leading cause of blindness, so be sure to visit an ophthalmologist at least once a year.(5)
Like many medical conditions, stress may make it worse.(6) Reducing stress will go a long way in helping you to cope mentally and physically. Take time out of your day to just relax or do an activity that you enjoy. Massage therapy is one great way to reduce stress, while also helping to improve overall health.
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(1) – http://www.pamf.org/diabetes/whatis/
(2) – http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/specialtopic/physical-activity/exercise’s-effects-on-the-heart.html
(3) – http://www.joslin.org/info/Vitamin-Supplements-for-People-with-Diabetes.html
(4) – http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-diabetes1.htm
(5) – http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2012-11-28/health/bs-hs-expert-grodin-20121128_1_diabetic-retinopathy-eye-pressure-glaucoma
(6) – http://www.heartmath.com/news/stress-can-exacerbate-effects-of-diabetes.html