Diabetes is a serious disease that can profoundly impact your health and your family’s health. When you have diabetes, your body cannot properly process glucose or blood sugar. This can lead to various problems, including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation.
Different factors can contribute to the development of diabetes. One of these includes your family history. If you have a parent or sibling with diabetes, your risk of developing the disease increases. Other risk factors include being overweight, having high blood pressure, and having certain medical conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome.
There are also lifestyle choices that can also put you at risk for developing diabetes. If you don’t want diabetes to be an issue for your family, it would be best to start avoiding the following mistakes.
Not Caring About Your Weight
Weight is one of the most critical risk factors for type 2 diabetes. If you are overweight or obese, your body becomes resistant to insulin, leading to high blood sugar levels and, eventually, diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best ways to prevent diabetes.
However, many people don’t care about achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. They are content with their weight as long as they can function normally. But this is a mistake that can have severe consequences down the road.
If you carry extra weight, it’s high time to do something about it. Losing even a small amount of weight can make a big difference in your health.
You can also check for the Body Mass Index or BMI. This is a tool that uses your height and weight to estimate if you are at a healthy weight, overweight, or obese. A BMI of 25 or more is overweight, while a BMI of 30 or more already means you are obese.
If you are not sure how much you should weigh, you can talk to your doctor or a nutritionist. They can help you determine a healthy weight range for your height and body type and how you can achieve this the healthy way.
Indulging in Unhealthy Foods
Unhealthy eating habits can lead to weight gain and eventually diabetes. If you frequently eat foods high in sugar, fat, and calories, you are more likely to become obese. Similarly, if you eat large portions, you are also at risk of packing on the pounds.
To keep your weight in check and your diabetes risk low, make sure you and your family try to eat a balanced diet daily. This means eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. Limit your intake of unhealthy foods such as refined carbs, processed meats, and sugary drinks.
Whenever possible, cook meals at home using fresh and healthy ingredients. This way, you can control what goes into your food and avoid unhealthy additives.
Whenever you do eat out, make healthier choices. For instance, order grilled instead of fried chicken, salad instead of fries, and water instead of soda. Avoid all-you-can-eat buffets, as they can tempt you to overeat.
Allowing Exposure To Secondary Smoking
Secondhand smoke is just as harmful as firsthand smoke. If you or your family smokes, it’s time to quit. Not only will this improve your health, but it will also protect non-smokers from the dangers of secondhand smoke.
Exposure to secondhand smoke can lead to different health problems, such as cancer, heart disease, and stroke. It can also worsen asthma symptoms and increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
If you can’t quit smoking on your own, many resources are available to help you. Your doctor can give you advice and prescribe medication if needed. You can also join a support group or go to counseling.
Living a Sedentary Lifestyle
Do you allow your family to stay inactive, thinking it’s okay as long as they eat healthily? Unfortunately, being inactive is just as bad for your health as eating unhealthy foods. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to weight gain and eventually diabetes.
Physical inactivity makes it harder for your body to process sugar. It also increases inflammation, which can lead to insulin resistance. To lower your family’s diabetes risk, ensure everyone gets regular exercise.
Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. Meanwhile, children and adolescents should be active for at least 60 minutes every day.
To encourage your family to be more active, make physical activity a part of your daily routine. Go for walks or runs together, play sports, or sign up for a dance class. You can also try active video games or exercise equipment at home.
Taking Your Oral Health For Granted
Your oral health has a close relationship with your overall health. Studies show that improving oral hygiene can decrease the risk of developing diabetes. One theory is that the bacteria in your mouth can enter your bloodstream and trigger an inflammatory response. This can then lead to insulin resistance and eventually diabetes.
Gum disease is also more common in people with diabetes. High blood sugar levels make it harder for your body to fight infection. Maintaining your oral hygiene can help prevent gum disease and other dental problems.
Another way to better care for your family’s oral health is by ensuring all members replace missing teeth the soonest time possible. This is because missing teeth can also lead to gum disease. The earlier you address missing teeth, the better. Know that you should only allow licensed and experienced dental care professionals to take care of you and your family’s teeth. Before undergoing any teeth replacement procedure, find a qualified dentist with a good track record to give your family the necessary dental care.
Remember, it’s never too late to start living a healthier lifestyle. By making changes today, you can lower your family’s risk of developing diabetes in the future. If you don’t know where to start, consider this list as your short guide to a healthier and diabetes-free life.