Is diabetes preventable?

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Type 1 diabetes

Unfortunately we can’t really prevent Type 1 diabetes as it is an autoimmune condition. Science is yet to determine how the cells of the pancreas are destroyed in the body. However, the only positive side is that we can identify some factors that put us at risk of developing this type of diabetes. These risks including family history, genes, where you live in the world and certain dietary factors.

Studies have found that the further away you are from the equator, the more you are at risk (e.g. Finland, Sardinia). Omega 3 fatty acids have been found to offer some kind of protection against developing type 1 diabetes.  Furthermore, it was also found that drinking water containing nitrates may increase one’s chance of developing this type of diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes

It is well documented that there is a lot that can be done in order to prevent type 2 diabetes.  Weight reduction, especially around the waistline helps in keeping the diabetes at bay. However, there are other tricky factors that can come into play, such as genetic disposition, age and ethnicity but the good news is these factors take a back seat as far as Type 2 diabetes is concerned. What this means is that the most effective way of prevention is change of lifestyle, especially, where our diet is concerned. A healthy diet with plenty of fibre, and exercise (both aerobic and resistance training) cannot be over emphasised in this case. (For advice on diet and exercise refer to previous articles on this health section).

As you can see, nature sometimes plays us difficult cards. Whilst it may not be possible to change where we live or choose our ancestors, we can do what is within our power and means to reduce the risks.

Sources: www.diabetes.co.uk

Reversing diabetes by Don Colbert, MD

Bertha Mukodzani is a Registered Nurse ( BSc Hons), writer of many articles and and author of the book ‘A Life  Steered.

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