McFarland Clinic

Expert Answer: What can I do to lower my risk for getting type 2 Diabetes?

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April 3, 2012

This week's Expert Answer is from Peggy Lewis, diabetes educator for McFarland Clinic in Marshalltown, IA.
An individual can delay or prevent the onset of type 2 Diabetes through a healthy lifestyle. Below are suggestions that may be helpful.
Eat Healthy:
  • Learn about carbohydrates and fat, learn to read the nutrition label
  • Eat the right foods
  • Manage portion size
  • Use a food journal
  • Go to for other suggestions and tips
Being overweight raises your risk for type 2 Diabetes, heart disease and stroke and can cause other problems, too (e.g., high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar).
A small weight loss of 5-7% of weight has been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes. Attempt to stay at a sustainable weight.
Be Active:
  • Try to be as active as possible as often as possible - invite a friend to join you, schedule your activity, and make it a priority. You deserve to be healthy.
  • Goal: 30 minutes, 5 or more times a week of activity will:
    • Improve insulin sensitivity
    • Lower blood pressure
    • Increase HDL (good cholesterol)
    • Decrease cholesterol and triglycerides
    • Decrease stress
    • Strengthens heart muscle and bones
    • Improves circulation
    • Keeps joints flexible
Stop Smoking:
  • Smoking can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Visit with your primary care provider about benefits of ceasing your tobacco use
  • Call 1-800-QUITNOW
Drink in Moderation:
  • Women - no more than one drink daily
  • Men - no more than two drinks daily
Schedule Regular Medical Check Ups:
At your regular checkup your provider will be able to complete screening tests to determine if you are at risk for diabetes, specifically:
  • Fasting plasma glucose
  • Random plasma glucose
  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol
  • A1c test if indicated

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