Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Post Date: May 29, 2024

Roughly 38 million Americans live with type 2 diabetes. And it can have a big impact on people’s lives.

Type 2 diabetes is a long-term condition where the body has a hard time regulating and using sugar as energy. It can have symptoms that develop slowly over time, meaning you need a diagnosis from your provider to know for sure if you have it. But it can lead to threatening problems, like slow healing, loss of feeling in hands and feet, and even early death if left untreated. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your risks.

Take action with your diet

Your diet plays a big role in your overall health. A healthy diet might be different for every individual. But in general, eating foods with lots of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, fish, nuts, legumes (like beans and peas), and plant oils is a good place to start. If you’re working to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, do your best to avoid processed foods and ones high in fat or sodium. Take a look at the nutrition facts on some of the foods in your fridge and pantry, and see how they fit into this type of diet.

Avoid tobacco use

Smoking and type 2 diabetes are closely linked. People who smoke are 30%-40% more likely to get type 2 diabetes than those who don’t. You can help your health by avoiding smoking if you don’t smoke already or quitting if you do. This is easier said than done, but your provider can help you find resources to quit. Behavioral health programs can also give you the tools to make a change in your life.

Stay physically active

Getting movement into your day is a great way to stay healthy in general. And physical activity also reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. If you’re not already exercising, even starting small can help. Take a ten-minute walk, or go to a free yoga class at the library. It’s all about increasing your movement in a way that feels good for you and your body. If you’re not sure where to start, make an appointment to talk with your provider about what exercise makes the most sense for you.

Find your healthy weight

A healthy weight looks different for every individual, but being at a healthy weight helps reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. Ask your provider what weight is healthy for you. And if it’s not your current weight, talk to them about how you might get there. Whether it’s about moving more or changing your diet, taking safe steps toward a healthier weight can help reduce the risks.

Talk to your provider about your risk factors

Different people have different risk factors for getting type 2 diabetes. People over 45 and people who are overweight are at a higher risk, as are people who are African American, Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Latino, Alaska Native, and Asian American. Take this free screening test online to see some of your risk factors. You may even want to bring it with you to your next appointment and have your provider look it over with you. That’s a good time to ask any questions you might have.

CHP providers at clinics in Bozeman, Belgrade, and Livingston can help walk you through prevention, risks, diagnosis and treatments for type 2 diabetes and other health concerns. Make an appointment to get affordable medical care that helps you live better.