The basics of diabetes: Lose a little, gain a lot
7/3/2015 1:20 PM
When a person has diabetes, it means their body has a hard time managing blood sugar. In a person with diabetes, the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to help keep blood sugar under control.
Although type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease, type 2 diabetes is acquired. There are several risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Genetics play a role, so you are at a higher risk if you have a family history of the disease or if you are of Hispanic, African American or American Indian descent.
If you are obese or overweight, there is a greater chance that you will develop type 2 diabetes. Living a sedentary lifestyle also puts you at a higher risk.
Although it’s not always easy, losing weight and incorporating regular exercise are two of the most important things a person can do to reduce their risk of developing diabetes. If a person already has type 2 diabetes, this will help to manage their symptoms.
People often think they have to make major changes in their lifestyle to improve their health. Fortunately, studies show that losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can make a big difference in regards to diabetes. If a person who weighs 200 pounds loses just 10 pounds, they can improve their outcomes. Incorporating 30 minutes a day of regular activity is also beneficial and can spur weight loss.
For more information about diabetes support groups and services at Central Texas Medical Center, call the CREATION Health Institute at (512) 753-3818.
About the Author
Mario Torres, RN, BSN, is the diabetes educator at Central Texas Medical Center. He assists patients with living a healthy life after receiving a diabetes or pre-diabetes diagnosis. He is also dedicated to raising awareness about type 2 diabetes in the local community.