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Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

 
This page has been automatically translated from English. MSDH has not reviewed this translation and is not responsible for any inaccuracies.

Type 2 diabetes has become a major health issue in Mississippi. Thousands of adult Mississippians live with the complications of type 2 diabetes, including lower extremity amputations, end stage renal disease, blindness, loss of protective sensation, heart disease and premature death.

Type 2 diabetes is preventable. You can delay or prevent the disease by starting with the small steps below.

 

Prevention: A Change for Life

Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by making lifestyle changes that include weight loss and more physical activity. In this video, people with prediabetes talk about how group lifestyle change classes offered as part of CDC's National Diabetes Prevention Program helped them learn and keep healthy habits.

About Type 2 Diabetes

What are the signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes?

Many people have no signs or symptoms. Symptoms can also be so mild that you might not even notice them. Nearly six million people in the United States have type 2 diabetes and do not know it. Here is what to look for:

  • increased thirst
  • increased hunger
  • fatigue
  • increased urination, especially at night
  • weight loss
  • blurred vision
  • sores that do not heal

Should I be tested?

Anyone 45 years old or older should consider getting tested for diabetes. If you are 45 or older and overweight, it is strongly recommended that you be tested.

If you are younger than 45, overweight, and one or more of the following risk factors is true:

  • You have a parent, brother or sister with diabetes.
  • Your family background is African American, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic American/Latino.
  • You have had gestational diabetes, or you have given birth to at least one baby weighing more than 9 pounds.
  • Your blood pressure is 140/90 or higher, or you have been told by a doctor that you have high blood pressure.
  • Your cholesterol levels are high. Your HDL cholesterol ("good" cholesterol) is 35 or lower, or your triglyceride level is 250 or higher.
  • You get brisk exercise fewer than three times a week.

Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

Steps to Take

Making big changes in your life is hard, especially if you are faced with more than one change. You can make it easier by taking these steps: Make a plan to change behavior.

  • Think about what might prevent you from reaching your goals.
  • Find family and friends who will support and encourage you.
  • Your doctor, a dietitian, or a counselor can help you make a plan. You can also use the Gameplan below to get started.

Step 1: Reach and Maintain a Reasonable Body Weight

Being overweight can keep your body from using sugar properly. It can also cause high blood pressure.

The National Diabetes Prevention Program found that people who lost between 5 and 7 percent of their body weight significantly reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, losing only 10 pounds could make a difference!

Choose sensible ways to get in shape:

  • Avoid crash diets. Instead, eat less of the foods you usually have. Limit the amount of fat, salt and sweets you eat.
  • Increase your physical activity. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
  • Set a reasonable weight-loss goal, such as losing 1 pound a week. Aim for a long-term goal of losing 5 to 7 percent of your total body weight.

Step 2: Make Wise Food Choices

What you eat has a big impact on your health. By making wise food choices, you can help control your body weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol.

  • Take a hard look at the serving sizes of the foods you eat. Reduce serving sizes of main courses, desserts, and foods high in sugar or fat. Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables.
  • Limit your fat intake to about 25 percent of your total calories. For example, if your food choices add up to about 2,000 calories a day, try to eat no more than 56 grams of fat. Your doctor or a dietitian can help you figure out how much fat to have. You can check food labels for fat content, too.
  • Reduce the number of calories you have each day. Your doctor or dietitian can help you with a meal plan that emphasizes weight loss. The DASH Diet
  • Keep a food and exercise log. Write down what you eat, how much you exercise — anything that helps keep you on track.
  • Work alongside family members or friends who will support you in your efforts.

More about healthy eating

Step 3: Be Physically Active Every Day

Regular exercise tackles several risk factors at once. It helps you lose weight, keeps your cholesterol and blood pressure under control, and helps your body use insulin. Getting moderate active at the level of brisk walking for 30 minutes every day reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes and improves your overall health.

If you are not very active, you should start slowly, talking with your doctor first about what kinds of exercise would be safe for you. Make a plan to increase your daily activity, with the goal of being active at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week.

Choose activities you enjoy. Walking is one of the best ways to work extra activity into your daily routine:

  • Take the stairs rather than an elevator or escalator.
  • Park at the far end of the lot and walk.
  • Get off the bus a few stops early and walk the rest of the way.
  • Walk or bicycle instead of drive whenever you can.

Getting started with walking

Managing Diabetes

If you have diabetes, you can take steps to manage it. One of our self-management training programs can provide skills to help keep you as healthy as possible.

Find Out More

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Last reviewed on Jun 19, 2014
Mississippi State Department of Health 570 East Woodrow Wilson Dr Jackson, MS 39216 866-HLTHY4U web@HealthyMS.com
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