What causes Diabetes: Is it a lifestyle disease?

Diabetes is a condition where blood glucose in the body, also called blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose in the food we intake is the main source of energy for the body. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps this glucose from food to get into cells to be used as energy. There are two types of diabetes, one being type 1 diabetes and the other being type 2 diabetes. Mostly type 2 diabetes is known as a lifestyle disease as this is the most common type of diabetes and is caused by factors like no physical activity, obesity and junk food intake, etc. Whereas type 1 diabetes occurs due to a change in the immune system of the body where the body’s system for fighting infection also destroys the beta cells of the pancreas that produce insulin.

Bad lifestyle choices tend to affect the development of Type 2 diabetes. Lack of exercise makes the body lethargic and add on the additional weight on the body. Unhealthy meal planning again does no good for the health other than accumulating unwanted fats and bad cholesterol in the body. A healthy meal including high in fibre foods and green leafy vegetables is really good for the body and reduces the chances of type 2 diabetes. Obesity is another culprit that promotes type 2. The lack of exercise leads to the body getting overweight which can turn things worse. Due to the heavy body weight, the body becomes insulin resistant which in turn adds on the glucose build up in the body leading to type 2 diabetes.

The doctors consider borderline diabetes when the reading is in the range of 100-125 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) while the normal blood sugar falls in the range of 70 and 99 mg/dL. The stage where the blood glucose is higher than usual but not as high as to get diabetes is called prediabetes levels. Falling in the prediabetes level is considered to be an alarm where the doctors recommend such patients to make healthy lifestyle changes.

Losing weight and eating healthy can help prevent the development of diabetes. Physical exercises such as walking, running, jogging, aerobics or swimming are highly encouraged. These simple steps help in reducing the body mass index (BMI) which in turn helps in managing the type 2 diabetes without medication. Such small steps towards a healthy lifestyle can help reap long term benefits and keep diseases at bay.

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