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Type 2 diabetes is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. It can often lead to other medical problems such as blindness and kidney failure. However, an overwhelming majority of new cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented.
Lifestyle is one of the most important factors in the development of Type 2 diabetes. A few simple changes can help you greatly reduce your risk of developing this disease.
People who maintain a healthy weight or can lose some of their extra pounds can substantially lower their risk of diabetes. While there are no clear-cut reasons overweight people are at an increased risk, it is known that losing some weight helps control that risk. But it is not just the extra pounds that count. Another factor is what part of your body carries those extra pounds. People who are heavier around their belly and upper body have more of a risk than those who carry the weight in their thighs.
Become More Active
People who exercise regularly get a double benefit because exercise also helps with weight control. Lack of exercise seems to be a major factor in the development of diabetes and those who do exercise can decrease their risk tremendously. Any kind of activity will do, whether you are just walking around the block, dancing, gardening or participating in competitive sports—just start doing it regularly. Be sure to talk to your primary care physician before starting an exercise program.
Follow a Healthy Diet
While there is little evidence that certain foods help cause diabetes, there are some foods that may help prevent it. A high-fiber diet including fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains can reduce your risk for developing diabetes.
In addition to prevention efforts, early detection is key to preventing other health complications that can arise due to diabetes. Symptoms can often go undetected when a person has prediabetes or is in early stages of the disease. In fact, experts estimate that about one in four people with diabetes are unaware they have the disease. Ask your primary care doctor to perform a blood sugar test to ensure that you do not have diabetes.