How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Prediabetes does not have to become type 2 diabetes

(RxWiki News) At risk for type 2 diabetes? You can take action to stop diabetes in its tracks.

That's the message the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is trying to spread as part of a new public service ad campaign.

According to the CDC, more than 88 million Americans currently have prediabetes — a condition that often comes before type 2 diabetes. And the vast majority of them don't know they have it.

If more people knew they had prediabetes, they could make the health and lifestyle changes that can prevent type 2 diabetes from setting in.

“Life sometimes grants us an opportunity to make small changes that can have profound effects on the trajectory of our health and our lives,” said Dr. Christopher Holliday, director of the CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation, in a press release. “Diabetes affects every part of the body and can lead to a cascade of negative health outcomes, significantly impacting a person’s quality of life. A prediabetes diagnosis sounds the alarm, letting people know that they need to change course and take the opportunity to prevent this devastating disease before it’s too late.”

Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes have been a huge health concern in the United States for years, but the COVID-19 pandemic has brought new focus to prevention. That's because type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for serious and even fatal outcomes in those who contract COVID-19, the CDC said.

Prediabetes not only increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, but also raises your risk of heart disease and stroke. All of these health outcomes have a negative impact on the body's ability to withstand the coronavirus, the CDC noted.

So, what can you do to prevent type 2 diabetes and similar health problems? According to the CDC, it starts with awareness — talk to your health care provider about your risk and whether you should be screened for prediabetes. If you have the condition, simple lifestyle and health changes can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes:

  • Get more doctor-approved physical activity every week
  • Eat a healthier diet
  • Maintain a healthy weight

As part of its awareness campaign, the CDC and its partners have developed a simple prediabetes risk test. You can take the test here.

Talk to your doctor about your risk for prediabetes, type 2 diabetes and related health conditions.