Are you at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes?

Pre-diabetes is a precursor for developing Type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle changes can often help those who are high risk. Know the symptoms of diabetes.

There are a number of factors that can put one at risk of diabetes. Some commonly known are, age, gender, diet, sedentary lifestyle, race/ethnicity, smoking and alcohol. Lifestyle changes can significantly reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

If you are having symptoms such as, “increased hunger, weight loss (in spite of eating more than usual), fatigue, blurred vision, slow-healing sores, frequent infections, areas of darkened skin in the creases of [your] body (armpits and neck), Mayo Clinic says that you should see a doctor for glucose levels testing.

Did you know that there is a disease called prediabetes? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics have shown that those with prediabetes are at greater risk of developing heart disease and stroke. Your health care provider will let you know if you are pre-diabetic. Diagnosis of pre-diabetes puts one at higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Mayo Clinic says that another notable diabetic symptom is increased thirst. Excess sugar building up in your bloodstream causes fluid to be pulled from the tissues. This may leave you thirsty. As a result, you may drink — and urinate — more than usual.

A study led by the National Institutes of Health, in collaboration and supported by CDC showed, “by making modest behavior changes; improving food choices, increasing physical activity to at least 150 minutes per week helped participants lose five to seven percent of their body weight.” Additionally, the study showed these practices reduced the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 58 percent in people at high risk for diabetes.

To help prevent developing Type 2 diabetes Michigan State University Extension recommends:

  • Instead of sitting and watching a 30 minute television program, why not stand up to watch your program?
  • Do stretches or aerobics (high or low impact) using hand weights or lift canned vegetables.
  • Park further away from your destinations.
  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator.

In the long run, it will be worth it. We all want to live long lives. Let’s strive to live long and healthy lives. Increase your activity. Lose five to seven percent of your body weight – you will feel better! Your loved ones need your age and wisdom, take care of yourself. Fight for a healthy life without diabetes!

MSU Extension offers the course Dining With Diabetes for those who have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, as well family members. I will be instructing a four week series fall 2013 to help you and/or family members learn about and manage diabetes in the following Michigan counties:

  • Lenawee
  • Jackson
  • Hillsdale

Visit http://msue.anr.msu.edu/events to find any event near you!

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