My father was diagnosed with diabetes during his 40s.
As my brothers inch closer to this age, I am worried that they might also start showing symptoms.
While diabetes is not dictated by age and even though genetics is just one of the many risk factors, I know it’s not wrong to start worrying about diabetes around the age of 40. As the body starts getting older, its metabolic functions start to slow down, and the brunt of bad lifestyles start to show their effect.
Sure, if you eat well, and stay active, this might not be the case for you. But for the remaining majority, the 40s are when you’ll start to see the initial symptoms of any chronic ailments headed your way.
If you or a loved one is close to the age of 40 and is as worried as I am about diabetes, keep reading to know what you can do to stay fit, and healthy.
Tips to Prevent Diabetes Above The Age 40
Watch your diet closely
Your diet is of the utmost importance in keeping you fit and healthy, especially as you start to get older. A wholesome diet with very less sugar and refined carbohydrates is ideal for most people. Both sugar and refined carbs can break down into glucose and spike your insulin levels. If you are prediabetic, this amount of glucose in the body can lead to the secretion of more insulin. Eventually, this can lead to prediabetes or even diabetes.
Following a low carb high fibre diet and watching your portions, are two fail-safe ways to stay healthy, and prevent diabetes, especially after the age of 40. Avoiding processed food is also an additional step that can help in keeping your diet clean. This dietary change can also help you to lose weight and stay in a healthy weight range.
Become more active, even after the age of 40
Working out, and being generally active can really help in improving your diabetes risk. When you exercise, the insulin sensitivity of your cells increase, and less insulin is needed to keep your blood sugar in check. Most types of exercises can help in doing this. Working out is also a great way to lose weight, and make sure you don’t face complications associated with obesity.
Most experts recommend aerobic exercises, HIIT training, or strength training as the best types of exercises for diabetes prevention and weight loss. But no matter exercise you choose, consistency is what finally helps in improving your health.
Drink more water to stay your healthiest
One of the most common diabetes symptoms is increased thirst. This is because your body is high in glucose, which makes the kidneys work harder to filter. In order to compensate this, the body needs more water to filter these nutrients from the body. Even if you’re not diabetic, drinking loads of water can help you avoid unhealthy drinks with questionable ingredients. So the next time you feel parched, reach for a glass of water instead of soft drinks, or fruit juices.
Try to lose weight and become fit
Even though diabetes can sneak up on anybody, with any weight, commonly it is observed in overweight patients. If you have prediabetes symptoms, you might be holding on to more weight around your abdomen, due to the visceral fat present around the organs like the liver. An increased amount of visceral fat can lead to inflammation and insulin resistance, which can definitely lead to diabetes. Losing even a small percentage of this fat can reduce the risks that you have. And if you lose more weight, the benefits are equally helpful in preventing diabetes.
Start controlling your vices
Those who were party animals during their 20s and 30s, start to calm down when they hit their 40s, and that is with good reason. Vices like smoking and drinking have shown to have a major impact on your health, especially when it comes to chronic diseases.
According to a study, smoking has been shown to increase the risk of diabetes by 40-60%, depending on how much you smoke per day. But the only good thing is that quitting can help reduce this risk, and one can get progressively healthier after quitting cigarettes.
Watch your vitals closely
No matter what age you are at, it is never too early to start watching your vitals. Factors such as sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol are indicative of your overall health. Getting into the habit of routine self-monitoring has proven results in keeping people at the prime of their health. With the advent of technology, it has become easier than ever to track your vitals at home and to strictly monitor the same on a personal level, with the help of digital health.
Watching your vitals, and keeping your doctor in the loop about your readings can help you in preventing lifestyle conditions. If you do suffer from them already, you can better manage them with continuous self-monitoring.
Focusing on eating healthy, staying active, and staying aware of risks are something that everyone should do, whether they are genetically predisposed to diabetes or not.
Becoming older definitely comes with its own set of challenges. But if you are motivated to stay healthy, the above-mentioned approaches can help you in preventing most common chronic conditions.
With the help of digital health solutions like Phable, it has become easier to get information about chronic diseases and to manage them easily. Logging your vitals, and keeping your doctor informed is a feature that can help you prevent diabetes, and it’s complications, no matter what stage of the disease you are living with.