It’s unfortunate that some people see Type 2 diabetes as their fate. If you are overweight and have a family history of diabetes, you may feel like you are facing the inevitable. However, research tells us that if you implement lifestyle changes that reduce your risk, you may never progress into the diabetic range.
Prediabetes means that your blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be full-blown diabetes. This indicates that your body is beginning to have trouble producing or using insulin. If lifestyle changes are not made, you can progress into Type 2 diabetes and its associated complications, including heart disease, kidney failure and blindness.
Researchers are not exactly sure why, but many risk factors are linked to your insulin process going awry, including:
- Being overweight
- Lack of physical activity
- A family history of diabetes
- Age (increased risk over 45)
- Race/ethnicity (increased risk if African-American, Hispanic, Native American or Asian)
If you have any of the risk factors above and have not had your blood glucose levels checked, make an appointment with your doctor to do so. When you look at the list of risk factors, you really only have control over two things: weight and physical activity.
You don’t need to make dramatic improvements in these areas to lower your risk. Even losing a little bit of weight and light physical activity can be beneficial. By monitoring your blood glucose level and taking appropriate preventative actions, you and your doctor can work together to reduce your chances of progressing into Type 2 diabetes.
Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus, and the newest one in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Information for both facilities can be found at UCFHealth.com, or call (407) 266-DOCS to schedule an appointment.
- diabetes preventative screening