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.
|About the Disease||Who's at Risk||Steps to Take||Resources|
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 the DiseaseWhat 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:
Who should 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:
- I have a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes.
- My family background is African American, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic American/Latino.
- I have had gestational diabetes, or I gave birth to at least one baby weighing more than 9 pounds.
- My blood pressure is 140/90 or higher, or I have been told that I have high blood pressure.
- My cholesterol levels are not normal. My HDL cholesterol ("good" cholesterol) is 35 or lower, or my triglyceride level is 250 or higher.
- I am fairly inactive. I 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.Helpful Materials
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 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.
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.
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. Being physically active for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes.
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.