Millions of American women live with type 2 diabetes, and millions more are at risk of getting it. Obesity is one of the major risk factors for type 2 diabetes. As obesity rates continue to rise, so do the number of new cases of diabetes in women.
5 Tips to Help You Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Healthy habits alone cannot guarantee you won't get diabetes, but they give you the upper hand in helping to prevent this chronic and serious health condition. Give these 5 tips a try.
- Stay active by doing 30 minutes of exercise every day
- Plan your meals and watch portion sizes
- Enjoy whole grain alternatives to fatty, sugary foods
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Quit smoking
Common Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
- Excessive thirst
- Unexplained fatigue
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
Keep in mind that many women don’t experience these warning signs, or they may confuse them for another condition. This is why so many women don’t even realize they have type 2 diabetes until they go to the doctor with a complication of the disease, such as neuropathy or nerve damage.
Are You Diabetic?
Find out if your symptoms are a sign of type 2 diabetes.
Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes
The major risk factors for type 2 diabetes in women are:
- Advanced age
- History of gestational diabetes (increases the risk by 60%)
- Steroid therapies and some medications
Type 2 diabetes can be especially difficult for perimenopausal and menopausal women. Hormonal fluctuations make it more difficult to control blood sugar, and elevated blood sugar makes it easier to pick up infections. Hormone shifts also can increase food cravings, leading to indulgences that women living with diabetes should avoid.
When to Be Screened for Type 2 Diabetes
A blood glucose screening is recommended for overweight women who have one or more risk factors, such as a family history of diabetes. Women without risk factors should be tested at age 45, with follow-up tests every 3 years to check that blood sugar levels remain in a safe range.
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