In 2010, over 255 million people in the world were suffering from type 2 diabetes and it is predicted that this number will double by the year 2030. Yet type 2 diabetes is not a disease or an illness, but a condition that develops because of our own lifestyle choices. This essay looks at some of the long-term problems of diabetes and makes some suggestions on how it can be prevented. It concludes by noting that our health really is in our own hands.
Most people know that type 2 diabetes occurs when there is too much sugar in the blood, and many people know that this can be dangerous. However, some of the long-term problems of type 2 diabetes are not so well known. High blood sugar levels over a long period of time can affect our eyes. This can lead to a number of symptoms. For example, people might experience blurred vision, when they cannot see clearly; they may see spots or lines or, worst of all, they can lose their sight. At the other end of the body, people's feet can also suffer. High blood sugar can lead to the blood moving more slowly. This may result in a number of problems, such as pain or even loss of feeling – this is particularly dangerous and could lead to a foot being removed. However, because type 2 diabetes is caused by lifestyle choices, it is possible to prevent it.
Type 2 diabetes does not happen suddenly, it is the result of bad lifestyle choices over many years. So it is important to change to a better lifestyle. Firstly, people should stop smoking because it can affect blood sugar levels. Secondly, if someone is overweight they should manage their eating to reduce weight. Scientists have shown there are clear links between obesity and type 2 diabetes – people who weigh more tend to have higher blood sugar levels. Thirdly, take more exercise. Exercising regularly helps control blood sugar levels, maintains a healthy heart and helps us lose weight or stay at a healthy weight. An additional benefit is that exercising helps reduce stress, and as stress often leads to eating this must be a good thing. Type 2 diabetes is not a problem that has no solution. However, the solution is not in a pill that the doctor can give us.
There is no doubt that type 2 diabetes is one of the most serious health problems affecting the world today. The number of people with this condition in the future depends totally on the decisions we make about our own lifestyles. If we want to be healthy, then we need healthy lifestyles.
1 It is predicted that by 2030 over 500 million people will have type
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