Dodging Diabetes: Small Steps, Big Wins

Dodging Diabetes: Small Steps, Big Wins

November is waving at us, and you know what that means – it's National Diabetes Month! Now, before you start picturing images of endless salad bowls and a looming treadmill, let's approach this with a measured perspective. 

Let's delve into the intricacies of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), also known as adult-onset diabetes. Envision your body as a finely tuned machine, with insulin playing the role of the maestro orchestrating the glucose symphony. However, diabetes introduces a few disruptors, turning blood sugar levels into a wild roller coaster rather than a harmonious jazz melody.

Risk factors

As we explore the factors contributing to diabetes, it becomes evident that lifestyle choices, including sedentary behavior, indulging in unhealthy food, and an intimate relationship with stress, can amplify the risk. Genetics also plays a role – heightened awareness is warranted if there is a family history of diabetes. At MapMyGenome, we offer a personalized genomics test, the GenomePatri, which will help you understand your genetic risk for diabetes. Following the test, our team of experienced genetic counselors are ready to provide you with excellent insights and guidance allowing for informed decisions and proactive steps towards a healthier lifestyle. 

Consequences on body and health

So, what happens when diabetes decides to crash the party? Elevated blood sugar levels can induce havoc on organs such as the pancreas (the insulin producer), the heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves. It's like having uninvited guests causing a commotion in your home – things get messy. Over time, it can lead to heart disease, kidney problems, vision impairment, nerve damage, and other potential long-term complications. A person with T2DM is more likely to develop comorbidities such as heart disease, sleep disorders, cancer, obesity, and hypertension.

Also Read | Understanding the Genetics of Cardiovascular Conditions

Preventing those diabetes blues

  • Start with a gradual incorporation of an active lifestyle. No need for panic; we are not advocating for an overnight marathon. A leisurely stroll or some movement to your favorite music is a commendable start – progress, not perfection.
  • Regarding dietary choices, fruits, and vegetables emerge as allies rather than adversaries in the battle against diabetes. Incorporate a spectrum of colors onto your plate, emphasizing nutrient-dense options such as broccoli, berries, and whole grains.
  • Recognize water as an unsung hero in the pursuit of good health. Opt for hydration over sugary drinks; water serves as a superhero, ensuring the smooth flow of bodily functions.
  • Sleep, often overlooked, is a necessity rather than a luxury. Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep. Your mind, body, and insulin levels will thank you.
  • Stress – the silent troublemaker. It messes with your overall well-being and can trigger diabetes. Incorporate relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, and indulge in your favorite hobbies, whether it be reading a good book or enjoying a light-hearted movie.
  • Detective work isn't just for solving crimes; it's for keeping tabs on your health too. Stay proactive by monitoring key indicators such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels on a yearly basis. Knowledge, indeed, is empowerment.
  • No superhero faces villains alone. Grab a buddy, a friend, a family member – whoever makes you laugh and keeps you accountable. Having support from friends and family can make a huge difference in your health journey.

How MapmyGenome’s CardioMap™ can help

A sedentary lifestyle, imbalance in dietary intake, and lack of physical activities are all risk factors responsible for diabetes. So, a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle can ensure the regulation of insulin levels.

Tapping into your genes is another way to build awareness around preventing diabetes. What can one know from digging into the goldmine of genetic information?

As genes are considered the blueprint of life, understanding them through a genetic test opens up an array of information about your risk for certain conditions like diabetes, obesity, nutrition levels, heart health, and more. Accordingly, it helps you create an action plan for your well-being.

MapmyGenome’s comprehensive wellness assessment through CardioMap™ will give an insight into your genetic predisposition to both cardiac and endocrine conditions like diabetes and let you personalize a health plan that suits you the best.

Benefits of taking Cardiomap™ - An at-home genetic test for the heart

  • Understand the risk for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes before the onset of symptoms.
  • Know the predisposition to traits that are associated with heart diseases.
  • Understand medication response and personalize the medication related to heart and diabetes.
  • Personalize care for your heart health.
  • Free genetic counseling session to understand the results

Post a genetic counseling session, the report can effectively be used to alter your lifestyle according to your genetic requirements. Your physician, dietitian, or fitness trainer can help you adapt to that lifestyle by outlining further steps. 

Remember, it's about progress, not perfection. As Lao Tzu wisely said, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Those small changes we make today are the stepping stones toward significant victories on the path to better health. So, let's make this National Diabetes Month a celebration of good vibes and healthier choices. Your body will high-five you for each mindful step you take!

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