Parkridge Health System - December 10, 2018

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 30 million people living in the United States have been diagnosed with diabetes ("What Is Diabetes?"). It's a common condition—and it's becoming more common all the time as Americans live more sedentary, less healthy lifestyles.

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes occurs when there is too much sugar in the blood. But how diabetes impacts the body depends on the specific type of diabetes a person has. There are four main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1
  • Type 2
  • Prediabetes
  • Gestational diabetes

How Can You Control Your Blood Sugar?

If you've been diagnosed with prediabetes—or you're just looking to avoid diabetes altogether—there are steps you can take to keep your blood sugar at normal levels. Practice healthy living with the following habits.

Exercise Regularly

You can lower your risk of developing diabetes by exercising regularly. Experts recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week, or 75 minutes of strenuous activity. You should incorporate a blend of cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and balance exercises for optimal results.

The bottom line? Sit less, move more.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Fill your plate with plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, and a small amount of healthy fat. While there are no forbidden foods, you should try and limit consumption of sugar and sodium.

Don't Smoke

What does smoking have to do with diabetes? A lot, actually. Smokers are much more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers, and the risk increases with the number of cigarettes smoked.

Limit Stress

Did you know that stress can affect your blood sugar levels? When you are stressed, what does your body crave? Sweets! What are sweets? Sugar! Control your stress levels in a healthy way so that you don't run to the sugar to handle the stress.

Your blood sugar will be checked as part of an annual checkup with your doctor.

Don't have a doctor? Visit the Parkridge Medical Center website to find a physician now.