Can You Prevent Type 2 Diabetes? Absolutely. Here’s How..
Type 2 diabetes can make your life miserable, but it doesn’t have to happen to you if you take action now. While scientists don’t fully understand what causes type 2 diabetes, they know that making lifestyle changes that prevent it from happening in the first place can make all the difference between developing the disease and avoiding it altogether. Here are some tips to prevent type 2 diabetes and live healthier for longer!
How to help prevent and manage Type-2 diabetes
There’s a good chance you know at least one person with diabetes or prediabetes. Of those people, less than half can identify the main warning signs. Many people are unaware that, if left untreated, diabetes can lead to things like heart disease and stroke, in addition to other health complications.
Type 2 diabetes is typically due to factors such as obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, and family history.
If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, you can try to avoid some of the complications by living a healthier lifestyle.
Why is prevention so important?
Type 2 diabetes is a serious, chronic health condition that can lead to other serious health issues such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, and kidney failure. Therefore, by preventing or delaying the onset of diabetes, you lower your risk for all those other health conditions.
With some healthier habits, like healthier eating and getting more exercise, you can help avoid or delay diabetes and other associated health problems and improve your overall physical and mental health.
When you start making these changes, you feel good right away. After one walk, your blood sugar goes down. Form the habit of engaging in physical activity and you’ll start to sleep better and eat more fresh, healthy food.
How can I lower my chances of developing type 2 diabetes?
Here are some things you can change to lower your risk:
Lose weight and keep it off. You may be able to prevent or delay diabetes by losing 5 to 7 percent of your starting weight.1 For instance, if you weigh 200 pounds, your goal would be to lose about 10 to 14 pounds.
Walk or exercise more often to get at least 30 minutes of activity a day. Before resuming your fitness routine, speak with your doctor to see which exercises will work best. Slowly work your way back to your routine, so that you are not overexerting yourself.
Rather than simply eat healthily, diet by eating smaller portions. That way, you can cut down on the number of calories you consume on a daily basis and potentially lose weight. Make healthier food choices, including eliminating high-fat meals, as well as drinks that contain high amounts of sugar, like sweetened beverages.
To reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, please ask your healthcare professional about additional changes you can make.
How do you know if you are at increased risk of developing type 2?
A number of factors may lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Some of these risk factors include:
– Being obese or physically inactive
– Your age (there’s a higher risk with increasing age)
– High blood pressure
– Abnormal cholesterol levels
– Immediate family members with type 2 diabetes
– Having had gestational (pregnancy-related) diabetes
– Being of a certain ethnic group
– Blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not high enough to classify you as having diabetes
Your healthcare provider will ask for a blood glucose test if you are overweight, have any of the risk factors mentioned, are age 45+, and have never been tested. They will test again after 1-3 years, depending on your first results and the additional risk factors that apply to you.
There is a type 2 diabetes risk test which is developed by the American Diabetes Association. By answering a few simple questions, it informs you of your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Speak to your healthcare provider about your risk test results. They may also have you undergo a diabetes screening or a prediabetes test.
Key Lifestyle Tips to Get You Started
1. Getting to—and staying at—a healthy weight.
2. Reduce portions and eat healthier.
3. Consider signing up for a virtual coach.
4. Sit Less, Move More.
5. Stay Hydrated.