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Signs You Could Get "Deadly" Diabetes, Say Experts

A few lifestyle changes can reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
FACT CHECKED BY Alek Korab
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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 34 million Americans—about one in ten—have diabetes. Type 2 is the most common, accounting for 90-95 percent of cases. "With type 2 diabetes, your body doesn't use insulin well and can't keep blood sugar at normal levels," they explain about the condition, which develops over many years but is usually diagnosed in adults.  Fortunately, type 2 diabetes can be preventable and your chances of developing it can be minimized with a few key lifestyle choices, explains Dr. Sunitha Posina, MD, Board-certified Internist from New York City. Read on to learn about a few everyday habits that might lead to diabetes—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Signs Your Illness is Actually Coronavirus in Disguise.

1

You Might Have a Poor Diet

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When someone is diagnosed with diabetes, one of the most important changes they have to make has to do with their diet, as it drives blood sugar, Dr. Posina points out. "It is important to start learning about various foods to opt for and what to avoid and which foods can cause significant glycemic fluctuations," she explains. "Minimizing high glycemic foods and avoiding processed foods is also key."

2

You May Be Avoiding Exercise

 

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In addition to diet, Dr. Posina reveals that keeping your weight in balance via exercise is also crucial. "Studies have shown that 30 to 45 minutes of aerobic activity is crucial for our health," she explains. "Exercise helps improve blood glucose control especially in Type 2 diabetes and also reduces the cardiovascular risk."

RELATED: The #1 Cause of Diabetes, According to Science

3

You Might Be Smoking

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If you want to avoid diabetes, put down the pack. "Smoking makes managing the blood sugars difficult because nicotine can reduce the efficacy of the insulin and lead to increased insulin requirements in smokers," says Dr. Posina. 

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4

You May Not Be Getting Enough Sleep

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Lack of proper sleep on a regular basis causes hormonal imbalances and most importantly with an increase in cortisol levels which causes an increase in blood sugar levels, explains Dr. Posina. "It also causes less insulin release post-meals, leading to increased blood sugars," she says. Additionally, lack of proper sleep impacts your appetite, and can lead to late night snacking and other bad habits, "which can all make it difficult to manage diabetes."

5

You Might Be Skipping Meals

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Dr. Posina explains that skipping meals can cause your blood sugars to drop and especially more so if you are on medications. "It is very important to not skip your breakfast and be careful about it," she says. 

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6

You Might Have Too Much Stress

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While occasional stress is okay, constant stress triggers hormonal imbalances, with cortisol levels being affected the most, "which directly impacts the insulin and blood sugars," says Dr. Posina. 

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7

What to Do If You Think You May Be Developing Diabetes

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It's not nice to hear this, but diabetes can be deadly. "The life expectancy of someone with type 2 diabetes is likely to be reduced, as a result of the condition, by up to 10 years," says one report. "People with type 1 diabetes have traditionally lived shorter lives, with life expectancy having been quoted as being reduced by over 20 years." Swap your bad habits for better ones, and if you feel you may be developing diabetes, contact a medical professional. As for yourself: To get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more