- At age 45, everyone should have a fasting blood glucose test to screen for type 2 diabetes. You may need earlier screening if you are overweight, have a family history of the disease, or have high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol or high triglycerides. Women who had gestational diabetes or a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds at birth are also at higher risk.
- Lose weight if you need to. Shedding as little as 5 to 10 pounds can lower your risk.
- Build your diet around fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, fish, and healthy fats like nuts and olive oil. Choose low-fat dairy products, and limit saturated fats and sugars.
- To help your body use insulin more effectively, aim for 30 minutes of brisk activity every day.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking may lower insulin sensitivity, raise blood sugar, and distribute weight to your waist area, where it’s more likely to negatively affect the way your body uses insulin.
Fasting Blood Glucose Screening: What the Numbers Mean
Normal: below 100 mg/dL
Pre-diabetes: 100 to 125 mg/dL
Diabetes: 126 mg/dL or higher
Many people with pre-diabetes will develop full-blown diabetes within 10 years. Lifestyle changes can stop or delay the slide into full-blown diabetes, however.
Know the symptoms
Talk to your doctor if you have any of these symptoms: frequent urination, excessive thirst, extreme hunger, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, and blurry vision.
Diabetes often has no symptoms, but can cause serious damage to the heart and other parts of the body before it is even diagnosed.
Source: American Diabetes Association