Prevention is important. Health promotion advocates regularly announce and lament the lifestyle causes of Type 2 diabetes. Also known as adult onset diabetes or non-insulin dependent diabetes, Type 2 diabetes results from cells’ difficulty in producing or accepting insulin (which carries glucose from the blood to muscle and tissue).
Glucose, or sugar, can build up in the blood and cause a number of serious problems. This condition is often diagnosed in individuals over the age of 40, and it is especially prevalent in those with large waists and low levels of physical activity. In most cases, Type 2 diabetes can be prevented through regular physical activity, a balanced diet, and the maintenance of a healthy weight.
Studies abound in the field of Type 2 diabetes—it is a growing problem in the U.S., and despite the fact that many people do not need drugs to control the condition, it will be an increasingly expensive condition to treat in the coming years. A recent study on overweight and obese Australian men has helped point out yet another risk factor for individuals with Type 2 diabetes: depression.
The Many Risks of Diabetes
In addition to the well-known problems that can result from diabetes, such as kidney failure and lower limb amputations, this Australian study detected an increased prevalence of depressive symptoms among men with Type 2 diabetes compared to men without the condition. The likelihood of feeling depressed was highly correlated with health related quality of life (HRQL); men with poorly controlled blood glucose levels were the most likely to show symptoms of depression.
Compared to men without Type 2 diabetes, men with this illness also had lower aerobic capacity and poorer physical functioning (such as muscle strength). Men with depressed mood were also much more likely to have problems with social functioning—interacting with others, feeling comfortable in society, etc. Although it was a small study, the researchers found that Type 2 diabetes seems to increase men’s likelihood of experiencing depressed moods.
Other complications of Type 2 diabetes include problems with vision, poor circulation, fatigue, erectile dysfunction, prolonged infections, nerve damage that causes numbness and tingling, and even a coma or death.
Whatever your motivation—a longer, healthier, or happier life—let studies like this be your encouragement for making a change. Type 2 diabetes is often preventable. Maintaining a healthy weight and staying physically active are key ways to stay healthy and avoid the development of this disease.
Take the stairs, and order the salad instead of the burger. Read into what it takes to avoid diabetes. Make it happen—your future health and happiness depend on it!