Reducing Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a serious condition that causes blood sugar to rise to dangerous levels. It can happen at any age, but it doesn’t have to happen to you. There are ways to reduce your risk of getting type 2 diabetes.




Diabetes is a serious condition that causes blood sugar to rise to dangerous levels. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body can’t make use of the insulin it creates, and the pancreas gradually loses its ability to produce insulin. It can happen at any age, but it doesn’t have to happen to you. There are ways to reduce your risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

Being overweight increases your risk of developing this type of diabetes, so managing your weight is a good risk-reduction tactic. Making healthy food choices, including controlling portion sizes and reading food labels, is an essential step in maintaining a proper body weight and reducing the risk for diabetes. A heart-healthy diet includes foods that are low in saturated and trans fats, sodium and added sugars. For more ideas on losing or maintaining weight, see Take it off .

Not getting enough physical activity can also increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. Being physically active for at least 30 minutes a day and losing 5 to 7 percent of your body weight (about 10 pounds for a 200-pound person) can lower your risk of developing pre-diabetes by half. "Pre-diabetes" means your body isn’t able to convert sugars into energy. Without making some healthy changes, someone with pre-diabetes will most likely develop diabetes—in fact, 50% of people diagnosed with pre-diabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes within ten years. Talk to your healthcare provider to assess your current health and physical abilities to determine the amount and type of physical activity that’s right for you.

Because there are no symptoms for people with pre-diabetes, it’s important you know your numbers so you can avoid developing diabetes. Your healthcare provider can conduct a glucose test to check your blood sugar and tell you if you’re in a healthy range. If your numbers are too high (ask your healthcare provider what your target numbers should be), make the above lifestyle changes to help get them back down.

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