Five Ways to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Of the almost 26 million Americans with diabetes, nearly 95 percent of them have Type 2 diabetes, the blood sugar disease that is easier to prevent. Before developing Type 2 diabetes, people often present first with pre-diabetes, in which blood glucose levels are only moderately elevated.
Anyone can get Type 2 diabetes, but those at higher risk are over 45 years old, overweight, rarely exercise, or have low HDL cholesterol or high triglycerides. Individuals also are more susceptible to Type 2 diabetes if they have a family history of the disease or have high blood pressure.
Preventing Type 2 diabetes is possible, however, in the majority of people. You cannot change risk factors of family history, age and ethnicity, but you can ward off Type 2 diabetes through lifestyle changes. Here is how:
- Maintain a healthy weight. Healthy eating and moderate exercise is one of the most successful ways to help the body control blood sugar. Even small changes in calorie intake can help with weight loss over time.
- Increase physical activity. All types of exercise lower blood sugar levels. One Finnish study found that increased exercise with weight loss reduced the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by more than 50 percent.
- Eat regularly throughout the day and consume foods lower in fat and higher in fiber. Fueling the body with smaller meals or a snack about every four hours helps avoid blood sugar spikes.
- Lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. Keeping blood pressure and blood fats at a preferred range based on age lowers the risk of diabetes.
- Consider a diabetes medication. New medications are now proving helpful to keep pre-diabetes from progressing into Type 2 diabetes.
Right at Home caregivers can monitor a light-exercise program prescribed by a physician, prepare nutritious meals and provide medication reminders for your senior loved one, to help reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
What does your aging loved one do to prevent Type 2 diabetes?