Contrary to popular belief, diabetes is not caused by taking too much sugar. Excessive sugar intake should however be avoided in people with diabetes.
Diabetes is a condition that affects the body’s ability to regulate sugar levels in the blood inevitably leading to high blood sugar levels.
Your body produces a hormone called insulin which helps to control blood sugar levels.
The lack of this insulin hormone in the body or the body’s inability to respond to the hormone causes diabetes.
There are two major types of diabetes;
Type 1 diabetes which occurs when the body is unable to produce insulin due to the destruction of insulin producing cells by the body and Type 2 diabetes which occurs when the body is able to produce Insulin but cells in the body do not respond appropriately leading to insulin resistance. This type of diabetes is the most common type.
It is important to know that certain factors can predispose you to having diabetes,some of them include:
– A Family history of diabetes: People with parents or siblings that have diabetes have higher tendencies to eventually develop the condition.
– Obesity: Fatty tissue accumulation in the body increases the tendency for insulin resistance to occur thereby leading to type 2 diabetes.
– Physical inactivity or Sedentary lifestyle: Less physically active individuals.eg. Individuals who spend most of their day sitting for hours without moving around much or individuals who do not engage in regular exercise however little are at higher risk for diabetes because they are more likely to accumulate fatty tissue (weight gain) which can cause insulin resistance in the body.
– Age: Your risk for diabetes increases as you grow older.
– High blood pressure: Studies have shown that people with high blood pressure have increased risk for diabetes.
How to reduce your risk for developing diabetes.
Developing some healthy lifestyle habits can help to reduce your risk for developing diabetes, some of them include:
– Regular exercise or physical activity
– Eating healthy
– Having regular blood sugar checks at least once a year.
In a nutshell, the key to reducing your risk for diabetes is not avoiding sugar but avoiding food or habits that cause excessive weight gain because excessive fat and not sugar can lead to insulin resistance which causes type 2 diabetes.
Written by Dr. O