What is type 2 diabetes?
If you have diabetes, your blood sugar levels are too high. With type 2 diabetes, this happens because your body does not make enough insulin, or it does not use insulin well (this is called insulin resistance). If you are at risk for type 2 diabetes, you might be able to prevent or delay developing it.
Who is at risk for type 2 diabetes?
Many Americans are at risk for type 2 diabetes. Your chances of getting it depend on a combination of risk factors such as your genes and lifestyle. The risk factors include
- Having prediabetes, which means you have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes
- Being overweight or having obesity
- Being age 45 or older
- A family history of diabetes
- Being African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander
- Having high blood pressure
- Having a low level of HDL (good) cholesterol or a high level of triglycerides
- A history of diabetes in pregnancy
- Having given birth to a baby weighing 9 pounds or more
- An inactive lifestyle
- A history of heart disease or stroke
- Having depression
- Having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Having acanthosis nigricans, a skin condition in which your skin becomes dark and thick, especially around your neck or armpits
Questions to Ask about Diabetes 2
Do you have risk factors for diabetes? Does your family have a history of the condition? Or do you have prediabetes? Then check out these healthy living tips — they may prevent diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease.
Lifestyle changes such as losing weight, eating healthy, and engaging in regular, moderate physical activity may reduce the progression of Type 2 diabetes and control Type 1 diabetes. They can also minimize other risk factors such as high blood pressure, blood cholesterol and even heart attacks and strokes.
In many instances, lifestyle changes must be accompanied by medications to control blood glucose levels, high blood pressure and cholesterol. This complementary regimen may also prevent heart attack and stroke.
Diabetes can be successfully managed. Work with your health care team to set personal goals. And be sure to monitor your critical health numbers, including your:
- Blood sugar level
- Blood cholesterol level
- Blood pressure
How can I Prevent getting type 2 Diabetes?
You may lower your risk of other diseases, and you will probably feel better and have more energy. The changes are
- Losing weight and keeping it off. Weight control is an important part of diabetes prevention. You may be able to prevent or delay diabetes by losing 5 to 10 percent of your current weight. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, your goal would be to lose between 10 to 20 pounds. And once you lose the weight, it is important that you don’t gain it back.
- Following a healthy eating plan. It is important to reduce the amount of calories you eat and drink each day, so you can lose weight and keep it off. To do that, your diet should include smaller portions and less fat and sugar. You should also eat a variety of foods from each food group, including plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. It’s also a good idea to limit red meat, and avoid processed meats.
- Get regular exercise. Exercise has many health benefits, including helping you to lose weight and lower your blood sugar levels. These both lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week. If you have not been active, talk with your health care professional to figure out which types of exercise are best for you. You can start slowly and work up to your goal.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking can contribute to insulin resistance, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. If you already smoke, try to quit.
- Talk to your health care provider to see whether there is anything else you can do to delay or to prevent type 2 diabetes. If you are at high risk, your provider may suggest that you take one of a few types of diabetes medicines.
Taking these steps may also help prevent serious complications that can arise from diabetes. Get treatment and prevention by scheduling an appointment visit at one of our locations. Las Palmas Medical Group Can consult with your concerns and question about type 2 diabetes and provide a treatment plan.