TYPE 2 diabetes can develop at any point in a person’s life. It’s possible to find out if you are at risk of developing the condition, which means you can take action to either delay or prevent it from happening. Here’s how.
Type 2 diabetes is a serious, lifelong condition, which causes the level of sugar in the blood to become too high.
This happens when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin.
Insulin is needed to allow glucose in the blood to enter the cells and fuel the body with energy.
If insulin can’t work properly, glucose will stay in the blood instead of entering the cells.
This is bad, because if left untreated type 2 diabetes can lead to serious complications involving the heart, nerves, eyes, kidneys and feet.
Type 2 diabetes is often linked to being overweight, which means taking steps to maintain a healthy weight can reduce the risk of developing the condition.
Finding out you’re at risk of developing type 2 diabetes can be worrying, but it means there is a chance to delay or prevent it by making lifestyle changes.
There are three main lifestyle changes to make, to lower the risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
Improve your diet
Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
This means eating a wide range of foods, including fruit, vegetables and some starchy foods like pasta.
Sugar, fat and salt should be kept to a minimum.
It’s also important to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, and not skip meals.
Get more exercise
This could involve partaking in an activity class or sport, but could also involve simply doing more around the house and sitting down less.
Being more active will help to maintain a healthy weight.
Diabetes UK recommended doing up to 30 minutes of moderate activity, five days a week, or 15 minutes of vigorous activity, five days a week.
Lose weight, if overweight
If already overweight, losing weight can help reduce the risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
This can be achieved by maintaining a healthy, balanced diet and exercising more.