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November 09, 2020

The holidays cometh! A time to celebrate, go to the beach, eat too much sugar and realize you haven’t had a vegetable in three months. And if that’s the case for you, you should be warned: an unhealthy lifestyle is a leading cause of type 2 diabetes.

In fact, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1.2 million Australians had diabetes in 2017 to 2018, most of whom had type 2. So, how do you prevent yourself from getting it, especially with so many cookies and sweets out there right now? We’ll explore that question in this article.

The differences

To really understand how to prevent type 2 diabetes, you should know the differences between it and type 1.

  • Type 1:
    • The immune system attacks the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, thus stopping insulin from being produced.
    • Most commonly manifests at a younger age but can appear at any time.
    • To combat its effects, people need to take insulin injections or use a pump.
    • It’s often genetic, so if a family member has it, your chances of getting it are higher.

  • Type 2:
    • With this type of diabetes, insulin doesn’t work the way it should, or it’s not produced properly. This prevents glucose, or blood sugar, from getting into the cells so your body can stay powered.
    • The symptoms can appear at any time in your life, and they appear less suddenly than type 1.
    • Ways to reduce the risk of getting type 2 is keeping a healthy weight; if over-weight, getting on a healthy weight-loss plan; increasing how active you are; and having a balanced, healthy diet. There is also medication to help.
    • There is a greater chance of getting it if you have an immediate family member who has it. Type 2 diabetes is also related to having an inactive and overweight lifestyle. Advanced age is another risk factor, and certain ethnicities are more prone to diabetes than others.

Symptoms of diabetes

Both types of diabetes have very similar symptoms. They include:

  • The need to pee. A lot.
  • Often being thirsty.
  • Being hungry, even though you’re eating.
  • Being tired and lethargic.
  • Your cuts will heal slowly.
  • Itching with skin infections.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Mood swings.
  • Headaches.
  • Dizziness.
  • Leg cramps.

Here are some symptoms that are unique to one type of diabetes or another:

  • Type 1 diabetes, you have unexplained weight loss. You may still be eating, but you’re still losing weight.
  • In type 2 diabetes, your hands and feet will tingle, have pain or feel numb.

Complications

Along with the symptoms of diabetes, there are several complications that can arise. Just keep in mind, a lot of these complications can happen without diabetes, they’re just more common with it.

  • Skin
    • There are a lot of things that can happen to the skin. To name just a few, there are sties (infections of the glands in the eyelids), boils, infections in the hair follicles, carbuncles (infections deep in the skin) and infections around the nails.
    • Fungal
      • Common fungal infections are located in the dark, moist parts of the body, like between toes and the corners of the mouth.
    • Localized itching
      • This can be caused by the fungal infections.

These are just a few of the complications to the skin and there are ways to treat them.

Other complications include:

  • Eyes
    • Common problems with the eyes when you have diabetes are glaucoma, cataracts and issues with the retinas.
  • Neuropathy
    • This is nerve damage. About half the people with diabetes suffer from neuropathy. If you can keep your glucose levels good, you can prevent or delay nerve damage.
  • DKA
    • This can lead to a diabetic coma or death. It happens when the body can’t use glucose, so it uses fat instead. Burning the fat like this creates ketones, which are toxic to the body.
  • Other common complications:
    • Kidney disease
    • High blood pressure
    • Stroke

If you think you have any of these conditions, talk to your doctor.

Getting it under control

To manage your diabetes, you really need to work at it. For type 1, there is no cure or natural way to get rid of it. However, having a healthy, balanced lifestyle and diet can help you reduce any complications you may experience. Beyond that, it’s vital to use your prescribed insulin pump or take your prescribed injections. Counting carbs (the source of glucose) from food and drink can help you know how much insulin you need.

For type 2, take your prescribed medications. Make sure to eat healthy and exercise. For some people, developing these healthy habits can reverse the disease.

So, if you really want to celebrate the summer months and eat all the sugar you can, beware: that’s how diabetes sets in. We all splurge a little over the holidays; that’s understandable. Just make sure you’re keeping active and eating a vegetable or two. And if you want help losing weight after the holidays, check out our broad selection of weight loss vitamins at Vitamins Only.

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