2017 NATIONAL DIABETES AWARENESS WEEK: 12-18 JULY
National Diabetes Week aims to raise awareness of diabetes. Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia.
RISK FACTORS FOR PREDIABETES AND TYPE 2 DIABETES
Weight: The more fatty tissue you have the more resistant your cells become to insulin.
Inactivity:The less active you are, the greater risk. Physical activity helps you control your weight, uses up glucose as energy and makes your cells more sensitive to insulin.
Family History:Your risk increases if a parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes.
Ethniticity:If you are of Chinese, Indian or Pacific Islander origin you are at increased risk.
Age:Your risk increases as you get older. This may be because you tend to exercise less, lose muscle mass and gain weight as you age. But type 2 diabetes is also increasing dramatically
among children, adolescents and younger adults.
Gestational Diabetes: If you developed gestational diabetes when you were pregnant, your risk of developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes later increases. If you gave birth to a baby
weighing more than 4 kilograms, you are also at risk of type 2 diabetes.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS):For women, having PCOS, a common condition characterised by irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth and obesity, increases the risk of diabetes.
High blood pressure: Having blood pressure over 140/90millimetres of mercury (mmHg) is linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels. If you have low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol, your risk of type 2 diabetes is higher. Triglycerides are
another type of fat carried in the blood. People with high levels of triglycerides have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Family History:Your risk increases if a parent or sibling has type 1 diabetes.
Environmental Factors: Circumstances such as exposure to a viral illness likely play some role in type 1 diabetes.
The presence of damaging immune system cells (autoantibodies):Sometimes family members of people with type 1 diabetes are tested for the presence of diabetes autoantibodies. If you have
these autoantibodies, you have an increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes. But not everyone who has these autoantibodies develops diabetes.
SIMPLE STEPS TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF DEVELOPING TYPE 2 DIABETES
Making a few lifestyle changes can dramatically lower the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. The same changes can also lower the chances of developing heart disease and some cancers.
Control Your Weight
Excess weight is the single most important cause of type 2 diabetes. Being overweight increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Losing weight can help if your weight is above the healthy-weight range. Losing 7 to 10 percent of your current weight can reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 50 percent.
Inactivity promotes type 2 diabetes. Working your muscles more often and making them work harder improves their ability to use insulin and absorb glucose. This puts less stress on your insulin-making cells.
Findings from the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study suggest that walking briskly for 30minutes every day reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 30 percent. This amount of exercise has a variety of other benefits as well. Even greater cardiovascular and other advantages can be attained by more intense exercise.
The following dietary changes can have a big impact on the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Select whole grains and whole grain products over highly processed carbohydrates.
There is convincing evidence that diets rich in whole grains protects against diabetes, whereas diets rich in refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, donuts, white rice lead to
increased risk. In the Nurses’ Health Studies I and II, for example, researchers looked at the wholegrain consumption of more than 160,000 women whose health and dietary habits were
followed for up to 18 years. Women who averaged two to three servings of whole grains a day were 30 percent less likely to have developed type 2 diabetes than those who rarely ate
So why is this? The bran and fibre in whole grains make it more difficult for digestive enzymes to break down the starches into glucose. This leads to lower, slower increases in blood
sugar and insulin, and a lower glycemic index. As a result, they stress the body’s insulin making machinery less, and so may help prevent type 2 diabetes. Wholegrains are also rich in
essential vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that may help reduce the risk of diabetes.
Avoid sugary drinks
Like refined grains, sugary beverages have a high glycemic load, and drinking more of such drinks is associated with increased risk of diabetes. In the Nurses’ Health Study II, women who
drank one or more sugary sweetened beverages per day had an 83 percent higher risk of type 2 diabetes, compared to women who drank less than one sugar-sweetened beverage per month.
So why is this? Weight gain is one possible explanation. There is also mounting evidence that sugary drinks contribute to chronic inflammation, high triglycerides, decreased “good” (HDL)
cholesterol, and increased insulin resistance, all of which are risk factors for diabetes.
Choose good fats instead of bad fats.
The types of fats in your diet can also affect the development of diabetes. Good fats, such as the polyunsaturated fats found in liquid vegetable oils, nuts and seeds can help ward off
type 2 diabetes. Trans fats do just the opposite. These “bad” fats are found in many margarines, packaged baked goods, fried foods in most fast-food restaurants and any product that
lists “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” on the label.
Limit red meat and avoid processed meat; select nuts, whole grains, poultry, or fish instead.
Why do red meat and processed red meat appear to boost diabetes risk? It may be that the high iron content of red meat diminishes insulin’s effectiveness or damages the cells that
produce insulin; the high levels of sodium and nitrites in processed red meats may also be to blame.
The good news from this study: Swapping out red meat or processed red meat for a healthier protein source, such as nuts, low-fat dairy, poultry, or fish, or for whole grains lowered
diabetes risk by up to 35 percent. The Greatest reductions in risk came from avoiding processed red meat.
The evidence is growing stronger that eating red meat (beef, pork, lamb) and processed red meat (bacon, hot dogs, deli meats) increases the risk of diabetes, even among people who
consume only small amounts. The latest support comes from a “meta analysis”, that combined findings from the long-running Nurses’ Health Study I and II and the Health Professionals
Follow-Up Study with those of six other long-term studies. The researchers looked at data from roughly 440,000 people, about 28,000 of whom developed diabetes during the course of the
study. They found that eating just one daily 85gram serving of red meat, such as a steak that’s about the size of a deck of cards, increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 20 percent.
Eating even smaller amounts of processed red meat each day, just two slices of bacon, one hot dog, or the like, increased diabetes risk by 51 percent.
Smokers are roughly 50 percent more likely to develop diabetes than non-smokers, and heavy smokers have even a higher risk.
Source: Harvard School of Public Health