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Susanne Woodlan, MD
Weight Loss Can Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Weight Loss Can Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Perhaps you have learned that you have a high chance of developing type 2 diabetes, the most common type of diabetes. You might be overweight or have a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes. Maybe you had gestational diabetes, which is diabetes that develops during pregnancy. These are just a few examples of factors that can raise your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

Metabolic Syndrome increases the likelihood of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and subsequent eye and foot problems. Prediabetes also can cause health problems. The good news is that type 2 diabetes can be delayed or even prevented. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to develop health problems, so delaying diabetes by even a few years will benefit your health. You can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by eating healthier foods with lower carbs and fats and being physically active most days of the week.

How Can I Lower My Chances Of Developing Type 2 Diabetes?

Research shows that you can do a lot to reduce your 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 5-7% of your starting weight. For instance, if you weigh 200 pounds, your goal would be to lose about 10-14 pounds.

• Move More. Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week. If you have not been active, talk with your health care professional about which activities are best. Start slowly to build up to your goal.

• Eat Healthy Foods Most Of The Time. Reducing carbs and fats while ensuring adequate daily protein intake will help maintain a healthy weight. Drink water instead of sweetened beverages.

Most often, your best chance for preventing type 2 diabetes is to make lifestyle changes that work for you long term.

What Should I Do If My Health Care Professional Told Me I Have Prediabetes?

Prediabetes is when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be called diabetes. Having prediabetes is serious because it raises your chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Many of the same factors that raise your chance of developing type 2 diabetes put you at risk for prediabetes.

If you have prediabetes, you can lower your chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Lose weight if you need to, become more physically active, and follow a healthier eating plan.

Information obtained from The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Health Information Center

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