Assoc. Prof. stated that Type 2 diabetes, which is spreading like an epidemic throughout the world, threatens everyone, young and old. Dr. Ferit Kerim Küçükler said, ”There are many risk factors that play a role in the development of this disease. “Knowing these risk factors well is very important to shorten the time to diagnosis,” he said.
Diabetes, which is now considered a non-contagious global epidemic disease, is very common in children as well as adults. Experts state that genetic and environmental factors that cause damage to insulin-producing cells in the pancreas play a role in the development of diabetes.
Pointing out that environmental factors are modifiable risk factors, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases Specialist Assoc. Dr. Ferit Kerim Küçükler listed his suggestions against diabetes, which can lead to important health problems such as cardiovascular diseases, kidney failure, depression, vision and limb loss, as follows:
THE DISEASE CAN SOMETIMES BE GENETIC
Due to genetic reasons, diabetes is more common in some families and it is not possible to change this risk factor. As environmental factors, we can list factors such as viral infections, use of cow’s milk before 6 months and vitamin D deficiency. Environmental factors are modifiable risk factors and therefore it is important that they are well known. There are many risk factors for developing diabetes. Good recognition of risk factors is very important to shorten the time it takes to diagnose diabetes. Because one in every two patients with diabetes does not know it yet.
KNOW THE RISK FACTORS WELL
Some of the diabetic risk factors are obesity, hypertension, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, low birth weight, history of giving birth to large babies, polycystic ovary syndrome, and insomnia. Obesity increases the risk of diabetes by increasing insulin resistance. Approximately 80 percent of diabetic adults are overweight or obese. The risk increases 2-3 times in a person whose mother or father has diabetes. Scientific studies have shown that a sedentary lifestyle, such as watching television for long periods of time, increases the risk of diabetes. Smoking can increase belly fat and insulin resistance. Sleeping less than 6 hours a day is a risk factor for developing diabetes. The most important reasons for the increase in the prevalence of diabetes in recent years are sedentary lifestyle and fast food diet. Easy access to food and the fact that these foods (and drinks) are often high in calories and of poor nutritional quality is a big problem. Diabetes has now become a threat to our children due to increasing obesity in parallel with the increase in the time children spend in front of the screen. Chemical substances that enter our lives with modern life, also known as endocrine disruptors (such as plastics, cosmetics, food additives, insecticides), increase the risk of developing diabetes.
MAKE PERMANENT CHANGES IN YOUR LIFESTYLE
The development of diabetes can be prevented or slowed down. Here, permanent changes in lifestyle rather than medications play an important role. For this reason, adopting a nutrition model and applying it for life will provide much more benefit than temporary diets with fantastic names. Mediterranean diet is one of the most scientifically proven beneficial diets for diabetes and heart health. Consuming olive oil, whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits, and fish is very beneficial. Floury foods such as white bread, packaged and processed products, sweetened and acidic drinks are foods we should especially stay away from. Regular daily activities are very important to regulate blood sugar. 30 minutes of moderate walking and 10-15 minutes of heavier exercise every day are beneficial in reducing insulin resistance. Although there are medications we can prescribe to prevent the development of diabetes, I always recommend implementing lifestyle changes. In summary, diabetes can be detected at the very beginning with simple examinations such as fasting and postprandial blood sugar, insulin measurement and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test. The development of diabetes can be prevented by losing excess weight, maintaining healthy eating habits, and making regular activity a lifestyle.