Question: Question from Amanda

Quite a few of my family members have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I’ve had uncles and aunts die from the disease. I am very worried that I am susceptible to the disease because of my genetics. Am I more prone to getting diabetes because of my family? And is there any way to prevent it?

Answer

Diabetes type II does indeed have a genetic link, but the good news is that your genetic predisposition can be countered with a healthy life-style. Type II Diabetes is a life-style disease associated with poor diet and a lack of exercise.

The most important factor which will reduce your risk for developing the disease is to avoid sugar, refined carbohydrates and processed foods. Include more fresh vegetables and wholefoods in your diet. Regular exercise will also lower your insulin levels and help to regulate blood sugar levels.

Make sure you control your weight. Being over-weight is a very significant risk factor for developing the disease and is in fact a much bigger risk than your genetics. Excessive alcohol use can cause problems with blood sugar and insulin levels so keep your intake to a minimum.

You can do blood tests to monitor your insulin levels as you will see an increase in insulin levels (insulin resistance) long before you develop type II Diabetes. Insulin resistance can treated effectively with life-style modification and natural medicine, which will prevent you from becoming diabetic. Lastly ensure that you get sufficient good quality sleep.

Long term sleep deprivation and sleep breathing disorders such as Obstructive Sleep Apnoea significantly increase your risk for developing type II Diabetes.

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