One of our goals at HydroSwell is to change the world's health habits to help people prevent life-altering diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
More than 1 in 3 adult Americans have prediabetes and 80% of those people have no idea that they are literally walking talking ticking time bombs of disease.
This is a scary reality not just for Americans but for the world as this is truly a global pandemic that gets little coverage in the news media yet is a top 10 cause of death worldwide & a huge economic threat.
The good news is, this is a problem that's both preventable and even reversible.
We're here to arm you with the knowledge and tools to understand what type 2 diabetes is, what it means to have prediabetes, how to know if you're at risk, and what to do to prevent and reverse the disease.
There are 2 main types of diabetes. Today we will focus on type 2
What is type 2 diabetes?
The Mayo Clinic defines Type 2 diabetes as "an impairment in the way the body regulates and uses sugar (glucose) as a fuel. This long-term (chronic) condition results in too much sugar circulating in the bloodstream. Eventually, high blood sugar levels can lead to disorders of the circulatory, nervous and immune systems."
People who have type 2 diabetes often suffer from fatigue, blurred vision, slow healing sores, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, inability to fight infection, and more. In some scenarios, the effects are so dire that limb amputations are required. When left untreated, it is fatal.
In short, it's really bad news & can stop you from living a full abundant life.
What is prediabetes?
The CDC defines prediabetes as "a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes."
Being prediabetic is kinda like playing with fire. You can push the limits but the body can never fully recover once full blown type 2 diabetes sets in. The problem is, most people don't know they are prediabetic until it's too late.
What causes prediabetes?
Prediabetes occurs when the body no longer responds to insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas and its job is to act as a key to open up cells to allow sugar in to be used as energy. When you have prediabetes, the cells don't respond properly to insulin so the body releases more of it to try to get the cells working. Eventually, the pancreas can't keep up and this leads to prolonged state of high blood sugar. This sets the stage for the onset of type 2 diabetes
Warning signs of prediabetes.
As mentioned, 80% of people who have prediabetes have no idea because the signs and symptoms can be subtle or even imperceptible. Here are a few things that are correlated with having prediabetes.
Being age 45 or older
Having family members with type 2 diabetes.
Lack of physical activity.
For women; having gestational diabetes.
For women; having polycystic ovarian syndrome.
It's important to note that race plays a factor too. The CDC states that, "African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and some Asian Americans are at higher risk"
In short, if you're overweight or just living an unhealthy lifestyle, you are at risk of having prediabetes.
How to reverse prediabetes
Preventing prediabetes or worse, type 2 diabetes is simple but not easy. Getting to a healthy bodyweight is the most important step as well as getting at least 150 minutes per week of physical exercise,
Exercise looks different for most people but studies show that regular strength training (lifting weights) is hugely beneficial form of exercise. If you're not comfortable in a gym don't worry, any form of exercise is going to make a big difference.
Remember that adherence is everything. Most people read something like this and dive headfirst into an extreme diet & exercise program that doesn't last beyond a few weeks. It DOES NOT matter how great a diet is if you cant stick with it.
In fact, when calories are equal, any diet that gets you the nutrients you need to thrive is fine. For people who struggle with their weight, we always suggest a simple approach in which no food groups are cut out, but calories are reduced to a level of healthy weight loss. Yes, this requires some calorie counting, weighing of foods, etc. at least for a short time until healthy habits set in, but we've found it to be the most sustainable approach.
It can be a good idea to reduce simple sugar/carb consumption as well since these foods trigger the release of insulin and you want to give your pancreas a break, however, the most important thing will be to limit your caloric intake so that you can lose body fat.
How to know whether you are prediabetic
If you read the warning signs of prediabetes and feel like you may be at risk, the best thing you can do is simply modify your lifestyle. Unless you are experiencing health problems, then seeing a doctor probably isn't necessary.
That being said, we know some people like to know what's going on in their body. If that's you, a simple blood sugar test administered by your doctor can tell you if you're prediabetic. If you need to take this step to motivate you to take action, do it, otherwise, just prioritize your health starting right now and you'll be on your way to living an abundant life!
Simple changes you can make to drastically improve your health
Over consumption of sugar and processed foods is the leading cause of prediabetes. That's why we make delicious products that have no or very low sugar. For example, our refreshing protein-powered hydration + energy drink mix ProLoco was designed to help people ditch junk drinks, crush sugar cravings, & feel energized and revitalized. If your goal is to be as healthy as possible, adding ProLoco to your daily routine is guaranteed to help you thrive!
Whether you choose ProLoco or something else, look for sugar-free options that have natural zero calorie sweeteners. Prioritize protein in your diet as it will help you feel full and eat fewer calories, and remember that your health is a continuum. Stop thinking in terms of days and start thinking in terms of weeks or even months.
A habit takes 66 days on average to develop, so just remember, it's only difficult for a while & then once you have a habit, it will serve you for a lifetime.
You're just one habit away from Living Swell 🤙🏽
To learn more about ProLoco & ProLoco Más, our refreshing protein-powered drink mixes, click here!