Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. At least one out of three people will develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetime. Are you at risk?
Type 2 diabetes (your body can’t use insulin properly) is generally not diagnosed until health complications have occurred. In fact, about one out of every four people with type 2 diabetes don’t know they have it. Common symptoms of type 2 diabetes may include:
- Increased urination, excessive thirst
- Weight loss
- Increased hunger
- Itchy skin
- Sores that do not heal
- Frequent yeast infections
- Fatigue and irritability
- Blurry vision
- Tingling, pain or numbness in your hands and feet
See your doctor if you notice any type 2 diabetes symptoms. It’s important to start a treatment plan early to avoid serious diabetes complications.
Tips for Preventing Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable. About nine cases in 10 could be avoided by taking several simple steps:
- Eat healthy foods. Choose foods lower in fat and calories and higher in fiber. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Limit red meat and avoid processed meat; choose poultry or fish instead. Skip the sugary drinks. Choose water, coffee or tea.
- Exercise every day. Inactivity promotes type 2 diabetes. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. Find a friend to walk with you or join an exercise class to help you keep going. If you can’t fit in a long workout, spread 10-minute or longer sessions throughout your day.
- Watch your weight. Excess weight is the single most significant cause of type 2 diabetes. If you’re overweight, lose a few pounds (a 7-10 percent reduction in your body weight can cut your chances of developing type 2 diabetes in half. A BMI (Body Mass Index) Calculator can help you determine if you need to lose weight and how much weight you need to lose.
- Chuck the cigarettes. If you smoke, try to quit. Smokers are roughly 50 percent more likely to develop diabetes than nonsmokers, and heavy smokers have an even higher risk.