Diabetes is, sadly, all too common a disease in the Western world. Considering the high quantities of sugary, refined, and processed foods and drinks we consume, it should come as no surprise that the U.S. is one of the countries with the highest rates of diabetes in the world (though no longer the #1 country!). But it might not just be the food that will increase your risk of diabetes. Here are a few of your daily habits that might also make you more likely to develop the problem:
Consuming Insufficient Bacteria
While this may sound gross or weird, the truth is that your body NEEDS bacteria in order to function. Of course, not just any old bacteria will do! Your body needs probiotics, bacteria that acts as reinforcements for the bacteria living in your intestines. These gut bacteria not only promote healthy digestion, but they also play a huge role in immune function. But without enough good gut bacteria, the bad bacteria can flourish. Those bad bacteria can cause inflammation in your intestines, which will affect both the brain and the pancreas–ultimately leading to insulin resistance.
Staying Up Too Late
While it’s nice to have the occasional all-nighter, it can be a problem if you burn the midnight oil too often. Your body needs a solid 6 to 8 hours of sleep, and health problems may set in if you don’t get those hours of sleep. According to a study done in Korea, people who go to bed later in the night are more likely to develop diabetes, even if they sleep the same number of hours as those who go to bed earlier in the evening. Not only are you more likely to do unhealthy things late at night (drinking, smoking, snacking, etc.), but you’re exposed to more artificial light during your day. Artificial light has been linked to ineffective blood sugar regulation and a lower sensitivity to insulin in your body!
While it’s nice and cool (or warm) indoors, your body needs time under the bright sun for one simple reason: the sun is the best source of Vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a huge role in your overall health, but it has been specifically linked to an increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Vitamin D helps your pancreas to function properly, ensuring that it produces the proper amounts of insulin and keeps your blood sugar under control. It’s time to get out for at least 30 minutes of fun in the sun every day!
Watching Too Much TV
You may think that a bit of TV watching is harmless fun, but do you have any idea what it can do to your body? According to a study out of the University of Pittsburgh, binge-watching TV can seriously increase your risk of diabetes. For every hour of TV-watching a day, your risk of metabolic disorder increases by 3.4%. Why is this? Simple: you’re sitting down. Instead of getting up and moving around, all of your time is spent sitting down, leading to inactivity–one of the primary causes of metabolic disease. Exercise alone isn’t going to combat diabetes; you have to spend less time on your feet as well!
Stress is a part of life, but it’s one that could increase your risk of diabetes. Stress lowers your immunity, but it can also raise blood sugar levels. This could lead to chronically high blood glucose, reducing your sensitivity to insulin. Plus, stress releases inflammatory hormones that mess up all of your internal workings. It’s DEFINITELY important to find a way to reduce the stress in your life.