Here’s an amazing fact: Nearly one in ten people in America has diabetes—and one out of four is over age 65. That means you probably know someone who is suffering from this debilitating and potentially lifethreatening chronic disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “People with diabetes are at increased risk of serious health complications including premature death, vision loss, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and amputation of toes, feet, or legs.” 1
Sounds like something we’d all like to avoid! If you don’t have diabetes, or think you don’t, you should be aware that “more than a third of U.S. adults have prediabetes [a condition that many times leads to diabetes within five years], and the majority don’t know it.” 2 It’s estimated that over 85 percent of those with prediabetes are unaware of their precarious situation. If that doesn’t startle you, the CDC reports that well over 100,000,000 American adults have either diabetes or prediabetes. 3 It’s clearly an epidemic.
While the statistics may sound grim, there is good news: Out of those who have the disease, 90 to 95 percent have Type 2 diabetes—a variety that can be controlled and even reversed in many cases, often with simple lifestyle changes. With the right strategies, it’s usually possible to reverse prediabetes. This means the vast majority of people can defeat these challenges by making intelligent choices.
If you currently have prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes, here are a few things you can do to set yourself back on the road to wellness:
- Eat a whole-foods, plant-based diet. This was humanity’s original diet, as seen in Genesis 1. Of course, a plant-based diet can be unhealthy. French fries and corn chips are plant-based, but they won’t do your body much good. Instead, focus on eating a colorful variety of plant-based “whole foods”—vegetables, fruits, nuts, and grains—as close as possible to the way they are when harvested. Minimize or even eliminate processed foods and foods with added sugars or fat.
- Exercise. If you’re unaccustomed to exertion, get your doctor’s approval first. Most people are up to walking, however, and it’s one of the very best forms of exercise with abundant benefits for mind and body.
- Maintain a proper weight. Researchers aren’t sure why excess weight contributes to diabetes, but it does. If you follow steps 1 and 2 above, you will almost certainly gravitate toward an appropriate weight over time. If you currently have diabetes, it’s important to continue taking your medication as prescribed and let your doctor make adjustments to your medication as you progress in conquering the disease.
Finally, an important key to regaining your health is to ask God for help. After all, He made you, loves you, and wants you to “prosper in all things and be in health” (3 John 1:2). He can give you the wisdom and strength to make changes to your lifestyle that will boost your wellbeing and lead to greater happiness and a more abundant life. He can help you outsmart diabetes!