Reducing Diabetes Risks for the Whole Family
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The number of type 2 diabetes adult patients is striking. Even more alarming, it is now beginning to show up in children and teenagers. When it comes to type 2 diabetes, prevention is a big deal. It is never too late to start. It is good for the whole family to know about diabetes and support each other making changes to lifestyle.
These steps can help reduce everyone in the family’s risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
1) Preschool – primary school age
- Being a role model for your kids can help them attain a healthy lifestyle. Eat healthy food.
- Avoid eating too much sugar, carbohydrate, and fat.
- Drink more water and avoid sugary drinks.
- Make physical activity more fun. Try new things together.
- In children over 10 years old with obesity, fasting blood sugar should be checked.
- Eat more protein, fruits, and vegetables. Eat less sugar, carbohydrate, and fat.
- Maintain appropriate weight.
- Encourage your kids to join a sports team.
- Move more in and out of the house. Limit screen/TV time. Plan active outings together.
3) Working age
- Eat healthy food. Maintain healthy weight.
- Limit amount of sugar and carbohydrate intake per day.
- Exercise regularly – 5 days a week, 30 minutes a day.
- Get an annual physical examination and diabetes screening
- Consult a doctor when planning to get pregnant. Women who have gestational diabetes have increased risks of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.
- The risk for getting type 2 diabetes goes up to about 50% if close relatives have it.
- The risk of getting type 2 diabetes increases with age.
- Limit carbohydrate and sugar intake per day.
- Eat more high fiber fruits and vegetables. These help control blood sugar and lipid level.
- Exercise regularly – weight training, yoga
- Maintain healthy weight
- Get annual physical examination and diabetes screening
- If you have diabetes, take good care of yourself as directed by your doctor.
Simple tips to prevent diabetes
- Limit sugar intake to 6 teaspoon per day or less than 24 grams per day.
- Eat low sugar fruits such as guava, papaya, orange, green mango, pomelo, green apple.
- Avoid drinking tea, coffee, and sugary drinks. Limit these drinks to once a week.
- Eat good carbohydrate such as brown rice, beans.
- Read nutrition labels to make healthier choices.
- Brush your teeth immediately after eating may also reduce after-meal sweet cravings.
- Exercise regularly.
- Regularly screen for diabetes. Seek medical attention immediately, if there is any abnormal symptom.
World Diabetes Day is the primary global awareness campaign focusing on diabetes mellitus and is held on 14 November each year. Dr. Rungtip Dansirikul, an endocrinologist at Bangkok Hospital would like to share that when one person in a family has diabetes, it is good for the whole family to know about it, both so they can help and support the person who has it, and also so they are aware of the impact it may have on them. One great way to support the person with diabetes is to join him in his healthy lifestyle, and if type 2 diabetes runs in the family, this can possibly prevent or delay a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes among family members. Most importantly, do not forget to screen for diabetes regularly as recommended by your doctor.