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Type 2 Diabetes - Prevention

Many people have prediabetes before they have type 2 diabetes. If you're concerned about your risk, talk with your doctor. He or she will order tests to check your blood sugar levels. If you have prediabetes, you should be tested for type 2 diabetes every year. To learn more, see the topic Prediabetes.

You can take steps to prevent type 2 diabetes. Even small changes can make a difference, and it is never too late to start making healthier choices.

Stay at a healthy weight

A healthy weight is one that is right for your body type and height and is based on your body mass index (BMI) and the size of your waist (waist circumference). Losing just 7% of your body weight can help reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes.1 If you are age 20 or older, use the Interactive Tool: Is Your BMI Increasing Your Health Risks? to check your BMI. To use the tool, you'll need to know your height, weight, and waist circumference.

Exercise regularly

Do activities that raise your heart rate. Try to do moderate activity at least 2½ hours a week. Or try to do vigorous activity at least 1¼ hours a week. It's fine to be active in blocks of 10 minutes or more throughout your day and week.

Also include resistance exercises in your exercise program.2 Resistance exercises can include activities like weight lifting or even yard work.

Walking groups or programs where you use a pedometer to count the number of steps you take in a day are great ways to start exercising and to stay motivated.

Using an exercise planning form(What is a PDF document?) may help you and your doctor create a personalized exercise program.

Eat healthy foods

Review the dietary guidelines for good health, which are good for everyone, including people who have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.

Take medicine if you need it

If exercise, eating healthy foods, and being at a healthy weight don't help lower your blood sugar, you may need to take medicine. For people who have prediabetes, the medicine metformin can help prevent type 2 diabetes.

Prediabetes: Which Treatment Should I Use?

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: January 24, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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