Lifestyle Changes to Fight Diabetes After 40

Diabetes is a chronic condition, and if it’s not managed well, it has harmful effects on your body. Your kidneys can become irreparably damaged, you may lose your vision, your cardiovascular system becomes compromised leaving you at high risk for heart attack and stroke, and you’re prone to peripheral artery disease, a very dangerous circulatory disorder. These are just a few of the complications which can arise from uncontrolled diabetes.

Here at A Younger Look Wellness & Laser Center in San Jose, California, Dr. James Andrews and the rest of our staff partner with you to manage chronic conditions, including diabetes. We’ve pulled together some basic information about diabetes and a list of ways you can work to prevent developing the condition.

Understanding diabetes

There is more than one type of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes typically occurs in children and young adults whose bodies don’t produce sufficient insulin to process their blood sugar. People with Type 1 diabetes are dependent on insulin for the rest of their lives. Gestational diabetes is a condition of pregnancy, is manageable through diet, and often goes away upon delivery. 

The third and most prevalent type of diabetes is known as Type 2. Of the 1-in-10 Americans diagnosed with diabetes each year, roughly 95% have Type 2. Many more go undiagnosed. 

The biggest risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes are obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and being over the age of 40. It’s estimated that 9 out of 10 cases of Type 2 diabetes are preventable, or even reversible, by implementing simple lifestyle changes.

You may have heard the term “prediabetes.” If you’re prediabetic, it means Type 2 diabetes may be looming around the corner. Consider a diagnosis of prediabetes a warning sign, and take steps to get your blood sugar normalized through diet and exercise.

Ways to change your lifestyle to fight diabetes

Obviously, you can’t control your age. However, for certain other factors that increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, lifestyle changes can make all the difference. Here are some easy and immediate changes you can make today to fight diabetes.

Eat a healthy diet.
Fueling your body with the right foods is the foundation on which good health is built. Opt for foods that are low in carbs and sodium. Eat mostly whole foods, and steer clear of processed foods and sugary foods. Introduce more fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats into your diet. Avoid trans fats found in fast foods and bakery goods, and go for lean proteins like poultry, lean beef, and fish.

Exercise!
Get up and move for 30 minutes per day, 5 times per week. You’ll feel better, look better, reduce your risk for Type 2 diabetes, and increase your body’s ability to manage glucose. When you exercise, glucose is delivered directly to the muscles, lowering the amount of excess glucose in your blood. 

Exercise also helps prevent many of the long-term effects of diabetes. Your cardiovascular system improves, lowering your risk for stroke and heart attack. The bonus? Exercise facilitates weight loss which also reduces your risk for diabetes. 

Manage stress and anxiety.
Stress hormones can cause your blood sugar to rise. You may feel overwhelmed by an event or situation and either forget to eat or eat too much, both of which can lead to blood sugar imbalances. 

Stop and breathe. Cultivate new ways to deal with your stress. Exercise is a great stress buster, as is yoga, meditation, or a fun hobby. Journaling your feelings is also helpful for many people.

Kick those bad habits to the curb.
Excessive alcohol use and smoking negatively impact your overall health. Smoking increases your risk of developing complications from diabetes, and excessive alcohol use raises your blood sugar, sometimes to dangerous levels. 

Your ally in the fight against diabetes

One of the best ways to fight diabetes after 40? Come in to see Dr. Andrews. If you’re part of a PPO with one of the insurers mentioned at the bottom of our home page, then one yearly physical, including a diabetes screening, is completely covered. For more on how you can change your lifestyle to help fight diabetes, call our office at (408) 686-4997 to make an appointment.  

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