According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 30.3 million Americans have diabetes. What can you do to avoid becoming part of that statistic? Our team at AFC Urgent Care Sevierville has some suggestions.

Take Action Against Diabetes

For those diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, the body simply doesn’t produce enough insulin. That condition is largely genetic. Type 2 diabetes, though, is often preventable.

First, you want to maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese greatly increases your risk of diabetes. Losing even a small amount of weight can help reduce your risk. In fact, a large study found that those who lost weight and became more active could prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes.

One way to help maintain a healthy weight is by following a healthy diet. Fill your plate with fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. And avoid excess sodium, sugar and saturated fats.

When you’re considering your diet, don’t forget about what you drink. It’s important to avoid sugar-filled beverages, like regular soda and sweet tea. (Did you know that the average glass of sweet tea contains more than 30 grams of sugar?!) Choosing diet beverages is a better option, but the best option is to drink plenty of water.

Physical activity is also necessary to help you maintain a healthy weight, as well as decrease your risk of diabetes. Most researchers recommend the average adult get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. The type of exercise isn’t particularly important. Simply find something that keeps you active and that you enjoy.

In addition, you want to make sure you get plenty of quality sleep each night. Sleep deprivation can increase your risk of diabetes and obesity. If you’re having trouble sleeping due to stress, take time to meditate before bed or help to clear your mind during the day—whether through yoga or a walk around the neighborhood—in order to help relax your mind.

Finally, have regular checkups with your doctor. Annual wellness checks can help ensure your blood sugar level is within the normal range. If it isn’t, your doctor can offer suggestions to help you safely lower your levels, often without medication.

Manage, Manage, Manage

If you are one of the 30.3 million people living with diabetes, there are things you can do to help manage your condition and live a long and healthy life.

The following are ways to appropriately manage your diabetes, including:

  • Regularly monitor your blood sugar levels.
  • Take medications and insulin as prescribed.
  • Exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet.

Are you worried your body is exhibiting signs of diabetes? Visit AFC Urgent Care Sevierville to undergo blood work in our state-of-the-art lab to see if your blood glucose levels are in the normal range.