How you can dodge diabetes

More than 37 million Americans have diabetes and 90-95% of them have type 2 diabetes. According to the CDC, diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes have different causes, but there are two factors that are important in both: you inherit a predisposition to the disease, then something in your environment triggers it. You can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes with proven, achievable lifestyle changes such as losing a small amount of weight and getting more physically active.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is when your pancreas does not make enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone
made by your pancreas that lets blood sugar into the cells in your body for use as energy.

Type 1 diabetes can be developed at any age and can be inherited genetically. Controlling type 1 diabetes means checking your blood sugar regularly, taking insulin shots, managing stress levels, and monitoring your cholesterol and blood pressure by making healthy nutrition and activity choices.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is caused by insulin resistance, where your cells do not respond normally to
insulin in your body. Your pancreas makes more insulin to try to get cells to respond.

Eventually your pancreas can’t keep up, and your blood sugar rises. Healthy choices to control your risk of developing type 2 diabetes include managing your weight, participating in regular exercise, and keeping glucose in normal ranges such as 100-125 mg/dl can help you dodge diabetes.

Research shows that you can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes by 58% by losing 7%
of your body weight, or 15 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds, and exercising moderately, such as brisk walking, 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

Don’t worry if you can’t get to your ideal body weight. Losing even 10 to 15 pounds can make a huge difference.

Source: American Diabetes

Uncontrollable risk factors:

  • Age (> 45 years)
  • Family history
  • Race (African American, Hispanic/Latino American, Native American, and Native Alaskan individuals may all be at greater risk for type 2 diabetes)
  • History of gestational diabetes

Prevent the development of type 2 diabetes with healthy choices:

  • Consume fewer artificial sugars Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Be physically active (150 minutes each week)
  • Manage stress
  • Replace juices and soda with water
  • Talk to your doctor about your family history and get regular biometric screenings to know your numbers.

For more information, visit the
American Diabetes Association website at