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Home / Diabetes / How to prevent type 2 diabetes

How to prevent type 2 diabetes

Information shows that out of every sixteen people living in the UK one is suffering from diabetes and these high figures are showing no sign of reducing. This seems rise is definitely in correlation to the rising levels of obesity. There are two types of diabetes, Type 1 and type 2 which is the most prevalent affecting 90% of all sufferers.

If a person has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes their body cannot manage to break down sugars consumed due to an inability to produce insulin naturally. Sugar from foods is a source of energy allowing us to function, however if it is not broken down it remains in the blood which can cause numerous health problems, but there are type 2 diabetes prevention techniques that can reduce the risk of developing it. This will keep sufferers and potential sufferers as healthy as possible.1

WDE - Weight, Diet and Exercise

Sufferers of high blood sugar levels due to type 2 diabetes may not know what is wrong with them at first but common symptoms are feeling extremely thirsty, using the toilet more often than peers and constantly feeling tired. In the long term health problems are likely in those that do not improve their lifestyle. Even after diagnoses there are ways to prevent type 2 diabetes symptoms. Weight diet and exercise to avoid or combat obesity are all important factors in starting to manage the symptoms by getting healthy whether there has already been a diagnosis or are likely to be due to genetics or lifestyle.2

  • Follow a type 2 diabetes diet - There has been a lot of information to show that people living a healthy lifestyle following the weight diet and exercise recommendations are more likely to prevent and manage type 2 diabetes symptoms than those that do not. Following a type 2 diabetes diet can improve the health of those already suffering to a point where they are able to lead a better quality of life and can be reduced or prolong the need for medication.

Many physicians have faced the task of trying to encourage their type 2 diabetic patients to become healthy, and those that have taken the information have either used the type 2 diabetes prevention skills to avoid the problem or to manage to keep their current symptoms under control or prevent type 2 diabetes symptoms from occurring.

  • Lower your BMI

    Having a BMI of over 35kg/m2 increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes x20. Obesity does not necessarily mean you will end up with diabetes but the chances are much higher than someone that is at or under the recommended BMI level.

  • Increase exercise

    Regular exercise and reducing consumption of saturated fats, sugars and processed foods will all contribute to helping to prevent type 2 diabetes symptoms and reverse or maintain current ones. Studies have shown that it can take as little as 4 days of following a healthier regime to see a difference in patients in overweight and obese patients. After only 28 days of restricting calories to 1100 to aid weight loss the levels of fasting blood glucose levels of those suffering from diabetes and obesity was decreased even further. This showed that even after diagnosis people were able to improve their quality of life over time!

  • Lower your risk of hypertension

    Being diabetic puts people at a higher risk of hypertension and other circulatory and cardiovascular problems, obesity is not healthy and increases this risk further. Blood pressure in those that lose weight can be reduced helping the heart to function at a better rate taking the nutrients to where they are most needed more efficiently. This is extremely important in diabetics as they are at higher risk of developing infections and blood clots which can lead to the amputation of lower limbs. Reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease in those with type 2 diabetes can be achieved by reducing weight, increasing mobility and eating food that can be utilized by the body rather than being stored as fat.

Tips to prevent type 2 diabetes

  • Artificial sweeteners

    There are many parts of a type 2 diabetes diet that people at risk of developing, or already diagnosed with it should take note of. Firstly they will have been told to avoid sugar, but more recent information has shown that artificial sweeteners can also pose a risk, especially to people using insulin so the introduction of them should never be without medical advice. 3

  • Protein

    Protein consumption for diabetics is higher than non-sufferers, but it should still be taken in moderation due to the chance of developing hyperglycemia. Having a diet that is more than 20% protein in relation to calories can put people at a greater risk of developing diabetes, especially if they are already in an at risk group.

  • Limit fat consumption

    It is recommended that diabetics follow the same rules as people that have coronary problems to remain/get healthy, reducing the amount of fats they consume by following a type 2 diabetes diet. Saturated fats are the most dangerous and should be reduced to less than 7% of their daily intake where possible, especially if diagnosed with obesity.

  • Exercise

    Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise as part of your type 2 diabetes prevention can make a big difference to the lives of diabetics and that is something that most people can manage. Exercise can seem scary when it's something that you are not used to, but just making small lifestyle changes such as walking more rather than driving, or taking up swimming can make a big difference.

Medication can help?

Although there is no cure for diabetes the key to staying as well as possible is keeping the blood sugar levels at a normal rate. Over time diabetes is something that usually worsens which will mean medication will need to be combined with a healthier lifestyle to prevent type 2 diabetes symptoms. At first the medication is given in tablet form and in many cases a combination of more than one to manage blood sugar levels. Eventually this may also include injectable medications such as insulin.4

  • Metaformin- reduces release of glucose from the liver and helps the body to respond better to insulin. It is given to adults that are in high risk groups with high glucose levels.
  • Sulphonulureas- increases the insulin production to break down sugar.
  • TZD's – help your body to be more sensitive to the insulin it receives
  • Glibenclamide ,gliclazide, glimepiride, glipizide, gliquidone are also medications used to prevent type 2 diabetes if other medications are not suitable.
  • Gliptins – help prevent insulin being broken down as quickly in the body
  • Acorbose – to prevent the major increase in blood sugar levels while following a type 2 diabetes diet.
  • Nateglinide and repaglinide help stimulate insulin release.


1. Diabetes- NHS Choices


3. Which Artificial Sweetener Is Right For Me? -

4. Treating type 2 diabetes -

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