How can diabetes be prevented? Most doctors will say “it is important to know how to prevent diabetes because, in studying diabetes prevention, we learn how crucial it is to take care of our bodies. Unfortunately, Type One (1) diabetes mellitus cannot be prevented because of the autoimmune attack inherent in the disease. Type Two (2) diabetes mellitus, however, is mostly preventable through a healthy diet and exercise.”
“Type One diabetes mellitus occurs as a result of a genetic predisposition to an autoimmune attack on the beta cells of the pancreas”, many doctors believe. “The beta cells produce insulin which processes the sugar or glucose in blood. When glucose is processed, it is sent to our body’s cells which rely on the processed sugar for energy. Research near the end of the 20th century suggested that perhaps breastfeeding decreased the chances of the newborn getting Type One diabetes in its lifetime. Other than that hypothesis, there is no other known cause of Type One diabetes.”
Type Two diabetes mellitus offers a more optimistic and happier story. It is a metabolic condition that can be addressed with diet, exercise, and in some cases oral medication. Over half of all Type Two diabetes mellitus sufferers are obese and while we mentioned that childhood or juvenile diabetes sufferers are a small percentage of those with diabetes, it is on the rise again due to increased juvenile obesity trends.
How can we prevent diabetes? If we learn to eat correctly, use diabetic recipes to make our dinners, eat diabetic desserts, those with diabetes and even those that do not suffer from it can avoid the resulting physiological damage done by prolonged high glucose levels in the body.
“It is important to exercise 20 minutes a day, at least, or 2 1/2 hours per week.” “Diet should include modest ingestion of fats and healthy amounts of fibers and grains. Alcohol is even considered a preventive measure against diabetes but only in 1 ounce amounts per day. Nutritious, low in carbohydrate types of foods are encouraged. Breastfeeding might also help the mother prevent diabetes later in life.”
“Diet and exercise will also slow the aging process.” Why is this important? Because aging is the 2nd leading cause of Type Two diabetes. Approximately 18% of adults 60 years of age and older, suffer from diabetes and these are only the cases that are known. As we mentioned earlier, there are thousands of cases of undiagnosed adult-onset diabetes.
Type Two Diabetes Mellitus is common in adults 60 years of age and older because the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin degrade with age causing heightened levels of sugar in the blood. According to most doctors, “staying young, thinking young, eating the right food and exercising will help slow the aging process and could slow the aging of the beta cells in the pancreas.”
Is There a Cure for Diabetes?
The cure for Type One Diabetes Mellitus is a pancreas or beta cell replacement. Since the disease in this form is an autoimmune attack, the transplant patient must continually take immune suppressants for the rest of his life.
Curing Type Two Diabetes Mellitus is more problematic. It is certainly manageable but there will always be, it appears, the propensity of the body, if not taken care of with diet and exercise, to be prone to this metabolic condition.