Reducing Your Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes
Regular Exercise and Weight LossInsulin is a hormone produced in the body. It helps glucose (sugar) move out of the blood and into body tissue for use as energy. Excess body weight makes your tissue less responsive to insulin. This can lead to high blood glucose levels. By losing weight, your body tissue will be more sensitive to insulin and will be better able to use insulin.Regular exercise can help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes in two ways:
- Exercise alone lowers blood glucose levels by making your cells more sensitive to insulin.
- Regular exercise will help you lose weight.
Dietary ChangesThe American Diabetes Association (ADA) offers these guidelines for reducing your risk of developing diabetes:
- Eat a healthy diet that includes whole grains , fruits, vegetables , and low-fat dairy products.
- Reduce your intake of saturated fats (such as whole milk, cream, ice cream, meat).
- Eat a diet low in cholesterol.
MedicationsMedications commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes may also be prescribed to prevent the condition in people who are at high risk. Examples of these medications include:
- Metformin (Glucophage)
- Pioglitazone (Actos)
- Acarbose (Precose)
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Evidence-based nutrition principles and recommendations for the treatment and prevention of diabetes and related complications. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/25/suppl%5F1/s50.full?loc=what-to-do-prediabetes. Accessed December 31, 2012.
Measuring physical activity intensity. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/measuring/. Updated December 1, 2011. Accessed December 31, 2012.
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What to do if you have prediabetes. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/prevention/pre-diabetes/if-you-have-prediabetes.html. Accessed December 31, 2012.
11/29/2006 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance. http://www.dynamicmedical.com/what.php: Lindstrom J, Ilanne-Parikka P, et al. Sustained reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes by lifestyle intervention: follow-up of the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study. Lancet. 2006;368(9548):1673-1679.
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10/12/2009 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance. http://www.dynamicmedical.com/what.php: Crandall JP, Polsky S, et al. Alcohol consumption and diabetes risk in the Diabetes Prevention Program. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;90:595-601.
10/5/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance. http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php: Carter P, Gray LJ, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. 2010;341:c4229.
1/31/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance. http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php: Salas-Salvadó J, Bulló M, et al. Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with the Mediterranean diet: results of the PREDIMED-Reus nutrition intervention randomized trial. Diabetes Care. 2011;34(1):14-19.
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- Reviewer: Kim A. Carmichael, MD, FACP
- Review Date: 09/2014
- Update Date: 09/17/2014
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