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How to prevent yourself from developing diabetes

Updated on January 6, 2012

What a strange disease

Diabetes is a disease that affects many people around the world.  There are two different types, Type I is usually known to first occur in children and adolescents.  Type II is also known as insulin-resistant diabetes.  Both are pretty severe in the consequences.  Both can be hereditary. Type I cannot be prevented, and the people who have it usually have to be on insulin therapy for the rest of their lives.  Type II can be prevented, although there are cases of people who, even on taking all of the precautions, still end up with it.  Type II can usually be treated with diet and exercise, but there are also people who have to be on insulin therapy.

For this article, I will be primarily discussing Type II diabetes.  Type II diabetes has typically been known to occur in older adults. Lately, however, with the increasing rise of obesity in children and in young adults, it has been seen occurring in younger populations as well .  With older adults, diabetes Type II occurs because there is a slowing down of normal metabolic processes.  With children and young adults, it is due to the fact that they are overweight or obese.  Insulin, the hormone that increases the uptake of glucose into the cells, is impaired due to the numerous amounts of adipose cells (fat cells).  The fat cells release leptin, resistin and Cytokine TNF alpha.

Insulin is a hormone produced from the beta cells of the pancreas.  It binds to a receptor which then stimulates glucose uptake transporters to come to the surface of the cell and transport glucose into the cell. Impairment of this means that there is more free circulating glucose in the bloodstream, which is toxic to the body.

Leptin circulates at levels proportional to body fat.It enters the central nervous system (CNS) in proportion to its concentration. Its receptors are found in brain neurons involved in regulating energy intake and expenditure. Leptin controls food intake and energy expenditure by acting on receptors in the hypothalamus. Although leptin is a circulating signal that reduces appetite, in general, obese people have an unusually high circulating concentration of leptin. Obesity has been related to sustained or continued inflammation of body cells.  These people are said to be resistant to the effects of leptin, in much the same way that people with type II diabetes are resistant to the effects of insulin. The high sustained concentrations of leptin from the enlarged adipose tissue stores lead to leptin desensitization.  Resistin is a cysteine rich protein which plays a role in inflammation along with TNF alpha.

Being obese is tough on most parts of the body.  However, having insulin resistance in the body due to being obese is one of the most difficult complications to improve upon.  Here are some tips that might help prevent the body from developing type II diabetes and insulin resistance.

1. Exercise at least 3-4 times per week for at least 30-45 minutes.  Vigorous exercise isn't always needed.  Have a variety of exercises to strengthen different muscle groups. 

2. Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables of varying colors every day. 

3. Include fiber in your diet.

4. Don't skip meals.  There have been studies that have shown that skipping meals can lead to insulin resistance. 

5. Eat when you are hungry, and stop when you are full.  Eat things in moderation.

6. Drinking water can also help flush out fat and unwanted chemicals in our body.

7. Read food labels to see what you are getting when you go shopping.

8.  Organic isn't always the best; plus it's expensive.  However, it is good for preventing ourselves from getting the unnecessary hormones that farmers feed their animals and crops.  That maybe another contributing factor to insulin resistance and obesity.

9. Avoid charbroiled and smoked foods.  Those are really bad for your body, and increase inflammation.

Thanks for reading this! Questions and comments are always welcome!


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    • rlaha profile image

      rlaha 8 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

      Thank you! Yes, I should have added green tea and other medicinal herbs, but I didn't think about it!

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 8 years ago

      Good informative hub. How about green tea? It helps to flush fats out too.