According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 9.4 percent of the U.S. population has diabetes. Of those 30.3 million adults, 23.1 million were diagnosed and nearly 7.2 million went undiagnosed. This debilitating disease develops in nearly 1.5 million Americans every year, and it's been the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S. since 2015.
As explained by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders, diabetes occurs when the liver and muscles become insensitive to the action of insulin and blood glucose becomes too high. Insulin calls for your liver and muscles to store glucose (and fat if present in the blood) and also calls for the liver to produce less glucose, all in an effort to maintain normal blood glucose levels. High levels of fat, especially animal fats, in the bloodstream and in the muscles promote insulin resistance. This can cause diabetes, which may lead to heart, kidney or dental disease, stroke, eye problems, nerve damage and foot issues.
"Nov. 14 is National Diabetes Awareness Day."
When the body can no longer regulate blood glucose, it is commonly referred to as Type 2 diabetes. While developing and living with any disease can be threatening to overall health, the good news about Type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes and cases of insulin resistance is that the right combination of healthy habits may help to reverse such conditions, or at least the symptoms that come with them.
Nov. 14 is National Diabetes Awareness Day. Now's the perfect time to inform yourself about the disease and learn to live your fullest, most fulfilling life. Here are a few natural ways to combat and potentially reverse diabetes:
Did you know that physical activity can lower your blood glucose for up to 24 hours or more after a workout? That's because exercise makes your body more sensitive to insulin, helping your muscle cells use up available insulin over time. If you don't already exercise, it's critical to implement physical activity into your lifestyle. Adults are recommended to spend at least 150 minutes per week performing moderately intense aerobic activity, with two days dedicated to muscle-strengthening activity. Use these recommendations to start, then work your way into implementing high-intensity interval training into your workout regimen. This technique involves intense bursts of exercise followed by short recovery periods, which is known to keep your heart rate up and burn fat in less time. It's also great for heart health!
2. Reduce Stress
According to lifestyle blog Wellness Mama, high stress levels raise cortisol, which can cause hormone imbalance and insulin issues. Reducing your stress sources can reduce your chance of experiencing insulin spikes. Use prayer, bible study, hobbies and time spent with the ones you love as outlets for stress.
3. Lose Excess Weight
Being overweight or obese can heigthen your risk for dealing with diabetic complications, as explained by the ADA. When you choose to eat well, exercise and follow other healthy habits that help you lose excess weight, you'll notice an improvement in your overall health while keeping your diabetes under control and reducing your risk for developing other harmful conditions. Assess your current lifestyle choices and see if there's any room for improvement to jumpstart your journey to weight loss.
4. Follow a Plant-Based Diet
When you don't pay attention to the way you treat your body – with poor eating habits – conditions like diabetes develop and wreak havoc on overall health and wellness. Eating a diet heavy in meat and dairy products pours too much fat into the bloodstream, leading to insulin resistance. And then consuming refined sugars and processed grains causes blood sugar levels to spike and can make conditions worse. By switching to a plant-based diet, however, you can get your blood glucose back in good shape, lose excess weight and take control of your health again. A diet that prioritizes healthy, plant-based proteins, whole-food carbohydrates and fats can get you back on track and reduce your risk for experiencing diabetic complications in the future.