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Type 2 diabetes, like many other lifestyle diseases, is triggered by inflammation. Our genes may increase the probability of us falling victim to chronic illnesses. But it is our lifestyle and environment choices that can either initiate the ticking bomb or avoid it altogether. Sujata Sharma, Diabetes Educator, BeatO, says, "The science of epigenetics, the study of changes in organisms caused by gene expression modifications reveals that our lifestyle choices can influence our genes. Unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking, unbalanced diets and lack of exercise can stir up disease-friendly genes and healthy choices can prevent diseases."
People who have a history of chronic illnesses incurred by inflammation like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and other chronic or cognitive illnesses can benefit if they follow these lifestyle habits:
Work on your diet: It is vital to consume wholesome and organic foods containing complex carbohydrates rather than refined carbs like bread, pasta and sweets. Limit sugary beverages which have high glycemic load and replacing them with healthier drinking options like lemon water, buttermilk etc. Limit red meat and avoid processed meat, choose nuts, whole grains, poultry, or fish instead. Choose good fats over bad fats. Avoid foods containing trans fats or saturated fats. Baked and roasted foods are better options over fried foods. The entire diet must be balanced and comprise micronutrients like folate, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, riboflavin, methionine and other nutrients.
Get moving: Inactivity promotes Type 2 diabetes. Physical exercise helps in reducing the risk of developing diabetes and related complications. Working your muscles more often and making them work harder improves their ability to use insulin and absorb glucose. Exercise also reduces general bodily inflammation.
Stress management: When stress occurs, the body prepares to take action. This preparation is called the fight-or-flight response leading to shooting up levels of many hormones further in the spiking of blood sugar levels to further combat the condition. Stress invariably increases gene expression releasing inflammatory chemicals. Practices like yoga, meditation, deep breathing and mindfulness-based stress reduction are healthy ways to de-stress.
Adequate sleep: Sleep is an important time for restoration and repair of the body at a cellular level. That includes maintenance of the immune system and of the body's metabolic functions. Poor sleep affects diabetes both directly and indirectly, by triggering changes to hormones, contributing to weight gain and obesity, and causing changes to behaviour and lifestyle. Uninterrupted and restful sleep is an effective tool against insulin resistance and promotes increased insulin sensitivity.
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