Not sure how many of you are aware, but there are a number of pre-warning signs which your body will manifest to show that you are prone to diabetes. So before you even do the blood test to check your glucose level, your body will send you some signals which are not to be ignored. Again this shows how sophisticated our bodies are, but unfortunately we are not trained well to understand our own ‘body language’. I truly believe they should include a class on this in high school so we can avoid many illnesses and diseases in the future. Just like with other diseases, if diabetes is caught early it can be reversed with some diet and lifestyle changes without necessarily taking medicine.
1. Thirst – increase in thirst is one of the most common symptoms. The increased thirst can accompany other symptoms like frequent urination, feelings of unusual hunger, dry mouth, and weight gain or loss.
2. Headaches – other symptoms that can occur if high blood sugar levels persist are fatigue, blurred vision, and headaches.
3. Infections – certain infections and sores that take a long time to heal are a warning sign. Other possible signs include frequent yeast infections or urinary tract infections and itchy skin.
4. Sexual Dysfunction – vaginal dryness in women and impotence in men are other complications of diabetes.
5. Frequent Urination – when there is excess glucose present in the blood, as with type 2 diabetes, the kidneys react by flushing it out of the blood into the urine. This results in more urine production and the need to urinate more frequently.
6. Increased Hunger – in people with type 2 diabetes, “insulin doesn’t work well for some reason in muscle, fat, and other tissues, so your pancreas [the organ that makes insulin] starts to put out a lot more. This results in high insulin levels in the body,” says Fernando Ovalle, MD, director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Multidisciplinary Diabetes Clinic. “That insulin level makes the brain feel hungry and makes you hungry.”
7. Blurred Vision – Blurred vision occurs when there are rapid changes in blood sugar (from low to high or high to low) and the eye muscles have not yet adapted to it, Einhorn says. Blurred vision is one of the early warning signs of type 2 diabetes.
8. Foot Pain and Numbness – over time, diabetes can cause damage to nerves throughout the body, a condition called diabetic neuropathy. Some people might feel numbness and tingling in their feet and legs.
Risks for developing Type 2 Diabetes:
- Cigarette smoking
- Being overweight or obese, especially around the waist
- Lack of exercise
- Consuming a diet that is high in processed meat, fat, sweets, and red meats
- Triglyceride levels over 250 mg/dL
- Low levels of “good” HDL cholesterol (below 35 mg/dL)
Women who developed gestational diabetes in pregnancy have a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life. The same goes for women who have babies larger than 9 pounds. The insulin resistance associated with polycystic ovary syndrome also places women with this condition at a higher risk for diabetes.
How does Insulin work?
Insulin is a hormone that allows the body to efficiently use glucose as fuel. After carbohydrates are broken down into sugars in the stomach, glucose enters the circulation and stimulates the pancreas to release insulin in the proper amount. Insulin allows the uptake of glucose by body cells for use as energy.In type 2 diabetes, the body’s cells cannot take up glucose properly, leading to high levels of glucose in the blood. Insulin resistance means that although the body can produce insulin, the body’s cells do not respond properly to the insulin that is made. Over time, the pancreas reduces the amount of insulin that it produces.
Take action to reduce the risk
As usual, prevention is definitely better than cure especially when it comes to diabetes. Once you start using insulin it is very difficult to reverse the effects. It is important to note that there is a way to prevent diabetes from happening in most cases and it all comes down to lifestyle changes. Here are a few tips to reduce your risk of diabetes.
Tip 1: Get more physical activity
There are many benefits to regular physical activity. Exercise can help you:
- Lose weight
- Lower your blood sugar
- Boost your sensitivity to insulin — which helps keep your blood sugar within a normal range
Research shows that both aerobic exercise and resistance training can help control diabetes, but the greater benefit comes from a fitness program that includes both.
Tip 2: Get plenty of fiber
- Reduce your risk of diabetes by improving your blood sugar control
- Lower your risk of heart disease
- Promote weight loss by helping you feel full
Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Read here for some great sources of fibre.
Tip 3: Go for whole grains
Although it’s not clear why, whole grains may reduce your risk of diabetes and help maintain blood sugar levels. Try to make at least half your grains whole grains. Many foods made from whole grains come ready to eat, including various breads, pasta products and many cereals. Look for the word “whole” on the package and among the first few items in the ingredient list.
Tip 4: Skip fad diets and just make healthier choices
Low-carb diets, the glycemic index diet or other fad diets may help you lose weight at first, but their effectiveness at preventing diabetes isn’t known nor are their long-term effects. And by excluding or strictly limiting a particular food group, you may be giving up essential nutrients. Instead, think variety and portion control as part of an overall healthy-eating plan.
Tip 5: Consume Lingzhi and Pollen
Lingzhi can actually control the level of glucose in the blood in order to stabilize it. There have been many testimonies of even diabetes patients who managed to lower their blood glucose and either reduce their medication or even completely eliminate it. And for those who are at risk of getting diabetes it will assist them in controlling that the glucose level doesn’t shoot up. Bee pollen as mentioned in my earlier articles is the most complete food so by taking it on the regular basis you will make sure to get all the necessary nutrients.