One of the big challenges to solving the problem of diabetes is the complexity of the disease. The best recognized sign of diabetes is an abnormality in using and storing glucose (the major form of sugar in the blood). This causes abnormally high levels of glucose in the blood, which can lead to complications.
Warning Signs and Symptoms
DIABETES — REVERSING THE RISKS
As the population is eating more and exercising less, increasing numbers of adults and children are developing the syndrome, which results when a person loses the ability to use insulin effectively.
Many studies have established that obesity and physical inactivity are risk factors for type 2 diabetes mellitus and that weight loss and exercise improve insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion in the short term.
Long term, there are a number of lifestyle changes, dietary adjustments and nutritional supplements that go a long way to prevent rises in blood sugar levels that can, over time increase a person’s risk of developing heart disease, kidney failure, nerve damage and blindness.
PREVENTION — YOUR BEST BET
One of the most important research findings of the past year is that development of type 2 diabetes can be prevented, or at least significantly delayed, with relatively simple and safe approaches. A multi-site landmark study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) demonstrated that modest changes in diet and exercise – when sustained over time – could substantially lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Those who lowered their body weight by an average of 5 to 7 percent and exercised by brisk walking 30 minutes five times a week lowered their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by almost 60 percent.