Hand pushing a block in a tower so it starts to tip and fall.

Want to Prevent Diabetes? Don’t be Born to Begin With

I’ve always said that if you want to prevent your incidence of having disease, then avoid being born. Seriously. There is always one new article, or ‘scientific study,’ in which everything and anything is shown to lead to developing a myriad host of diseases or health conditions. The buzz words are usually cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

Fat is evil, fat is good; eggs are evil, eggs are good; coffee is evil, coffee is good.

And there seems to be no point in time in which you could be ‘safer’ from the ravages of your disease, either. Heck, a new study now claims that you could have been at a much higher risk for cancer even a decade prior to you being diagnosed with diabetes!

Had an overweight baby? Stay away from that, as it can lead to diabetes in adulthood for him, or her. It seems like common sense, maybe… But did you have an underweight baby? Stay away from that, as it can lead to diabetes in adulthood, as well, apparently.

What are we to do with this culture of prevention?

We are so focused on prevention, that when we fail to prevent we become paralyzed with our sense of failure at not having prevented. There are many friends and advocates in chronic health communities experiencing this very thing. And it really shines a light on how we need to modify our language, and how we talk about life and illness.

Things we could benefit from understanding…

  • Knowledge is, by definition, provisional:

    We are always going to be learning new things about our environments and the things we consume, or how we interact with our world. But practicing moderation is a good way of striking a balance between what we don’t know today, and what we may know tomorrow.

  • Only a few studies are significant:

    The fact is, a large number of studies don’t really add much to our general pool of knowledge. They may be poorly designed – with small population size samples, no variable exclusions, no double blinded guidelines, or peer review, or with a desire to show something in a good light. They might even be distorted by lay authors, for popular headlines in local outlets.

  • There is NO such thing as prevention:

    There is only reduction of risk. There are many, many variables – known and unknown – which contribute to the overall picture of health for patients. If we spoke to patients more in terms of reducing their odds, and reducing risk, perhaps we could reduce patient burnout, depression, and lack of empathy, when illness appears despite best efforts. This is very, very important as more and more persons with no outward signs of obesity start presenting with type 2 diabetes. But even with obesity, patients NEED to be treated with respect and dignity in order to feel they are still human beings, and not as hopeless failures for which all is lost.

  • Health is a BIG picture:

    We need to start treating health as the big picture that it is. We need to stop focusing on making people think they can prevent diabetes with cinnamon and quick fixes, and get them moving into understanding their OVERALL humanity for healthy living. How are the stress factors in their lives? Personal relationships? How are their quality of living standards, access to food resources, employment, mental health, etc?

Only when we begin to change our minds, as a society, as to how we SEE health overall – from what we approve, promote, market, consume – to how the person is seen, as a whole, will we truly be able to make significant changes toward the reduction in risk of MANY non-communicable diseases, like diabetes.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Type2Diabetes.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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