According to the American Diabetes Association, an estimated 88 million Americans have prediabetes, and nearly 85% don’t know it. If you’re at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, there’s no better time to take charge of your health.
Understand Your Risk
The following risk factors increase your risk of developing prediabetes and, ultimately, Type 2 diabetes.
- Overweight/obesity: Being overweight puts you at a higher risk of developing diabetes. Losing 5 percent to 7 percent of your body weight can cut your risk of developing prediabetes in half, and your risk decreases even more as you lose more weight. Learn how to manage your weight.
- Physical inactivity: Along with being overweight and obese, physical inactivity ranks among the top modifiable risk factors for prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes. For your overall cardiovascular health, seek to do:
- At least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity;
- Or 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity;
- Or a combination of the two with muscle-strengthening at least two days per week.
- High blood pressure (hypertension): In addition to causing damage to the cardiovascular system, untreated high blood pressure has been linked to the development of diabetes. Learn more about high blood pressure and how to control it.
- Abnormal cholesterol (lipid) levels: Low HDL “good” cholesterol and/or high triglycerides can increase the risk for Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. A healthy eating plan, sufficient aerobic physical activity and a healthy weight can help improve abnormal lipid levels. Sometimes, medications are necessary.
To learn more about your risk, take this 60-second type 2 diabetes risk test from the American Diabetes Association.
You can’t control everything that impacts your health, such as your genetic makeup, your age, or even your family history of diabetes. However, you can – and should – do something about modifiable risk factors. By making healthy changes, you can reduce the risk of diabetes or delay its development. The changes can also improve your overall quality of life.
By following the American Diabetes Association’s healthy living tips, you can take control of these modifiable risk factors. Taking proactive steps now can prevent or delay the development of diabetes and improve your quality of life.
Have questions about your health? Contact your Colorado Physician Partners practice today.
Our practices have care coordinators who can help you achieve your health goals! They can assist you in navigating the health care system and connect you with medical and non-medical services. Learn more about care coordination.