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     Lifestyle and Diabetes

     Maintaining a healthy lifestyle like exercising regularly, balanced diet, relieve stress and stop smoking may avoid the development of many diseases like diabetes.

     According to Hatice Bilgili, Family Health Specialist in Guven Cayyolu Health Campus, a healthy lifestyle can prevent the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 80 percent.

     Increasing number of obese and diabetic individuals is a serious public problem

     The incidence of diabetes, also known as sugar among the people, is increasing day by day all over the world. The number of obese and diabetic individuals has become a serious public problem. Due to rapid social and cultural changes, aging of the population, urbanization, insufficient physical activity, environmental toxins, unhealthy lifestyle and behavioral patterns the number of diabetic people have increased. There is no other disease that increases so rapidly all over the world and affects individuals and societies.

     Current data on the prevalence of diabetes published by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) shows that there are approximately 7 million diabetics between the age of 20 and 79 in Turkey, and this figure corresponds to approximately 15 percent of the total adult population.

     What is diabetes?

     Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs due to the inability to produce the hormone insulin, which regulates blood sugar, or the decrease in its effectiveness in the cells, and is detected by increased blood sugar levels.

     Blood sugar, which is constantly above normal values, can cause acute and chronic complications in organs such as the nervous system, eyes, heart and kidneys, and as a result, it can lead to vital problems in the functioning of these organs with the emergence of diabetes. The most common types of diabetes are Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes that occurs during pregnancy.

     Type 1 Diabetes, usually occurs in childhood, is a type of diabetes that arise due to the inability of the pancreas to produce enough insulin as a result of idiopathic conditions or autoimmune diseases or infections. Children and adults with Type 1 diabetes can lead a healthy life by gaining insulin therapy, nutrition therapy, regular physical activity and healthy lifestyle habits under the control of a specialist.

     Type 2 diabetes can occur due to excess weight and inactive lifestyle

     Type 2 diabetes is responsible for 90 percent of all diabetes cases. Unlike Type 1, in Type 2 diabetes, insulin is released from the pancreas, but the effectiveness of insulin in the liver, muscle and adipose tissue decreases. Type 2 diabetes can also occur due to lifestyle factors such as overweight and insufficient physical activity as well as genetic predisposition.

     Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that appears for the first-time during pregnancy and could be taken under control with nutrition therapy, insulin therapy and lifestyle changes. It is reported that if gestational diabetes is neglected, the mother and baby are at 70-80 percent risk of developing diabetes.

While Type 1 diabetes can develop independently of lifestyle, the risk of developing Type 2 and gestational diabetes is equally related to lifestyle. It has been shown that an unhealthy lifestyle such as a sedentary life away from adequate and balanced nutrition, stress and sleep disorders increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

     Successful control of diabetes not only depends on medications and medical treatments. Preventive activities also play an important role in successful control. Raising individuals who can make healthy choices and to prepare an environment where these people can practice healthy living behaviors are at the beginning of preventive activities.

     Healthy Lifestyle

     It is predicted that 160 million diabetes can be delayed or prevented by 2040 with lifestyle changes. The risk of developing the disease for all individuals, whether they have diabetes or not, can be prevented to a large extent by regular physical activity, healthy and balanced nutrition, stress management, sleep patterns and promoting healthy living environments.

     A healthy lifestyle is controlling all the behaviors that affect the health of the individual and choosing behaviors that are appropriate for his/her own health status in arranging his daily activities. Behaviors that improve health include behaviors that increase the level of well-being of the individual and bring self-development.

     Healthy lifestyle behaviors:

  •      Healthy and balanced diet,

  •      Adequate and regular exercise,

  •      Stop smoking,

  •      Hygienic measures,

  •      Positive relationships

     Individuals with healthy lifestyle as a part of his life, can maintain the state of being healthy and bring his health status to a better level.

     The development and maintenance of healthy lifestyle behaviors are the basis of health and protection from diseases. This situation reveals the importance of practices for the prevention of diseases and the development of lifestyles, which are the most important factors for improving health. It is very important to get support from a specialist in the process of acquiring these behaviors. Type 2 diabetes is 80 % preventable disease when a healthy lifestyle is gained and practiced.