How to Reverse or Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

May sound unbelievable—but did you know healthy diet and exercise can have a positive impact when it comes to reversing or even preventing Type 2 diabetes when you’re at risk?

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes—a disorder that causes blood sugar (glucose) levels to increase higher than normal. Diabetes can lead to many life-threatening complications and health problems including:

  • Heart disease
  • Nerve damage (neuropathy)
  • Eye damage
  • Kidney failure
  • Skin problems
  • Hearing problems
  • Leg, foot or toe damage that leads to amputation.

“When most people think of reversing their diabetes, they mean they want to discontinue the use of medication or insulin,” says Erin Zepp, MS, RD, CDE, diabetes program coordinator for Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center. “Developing a regular exercise routine and losing weight (if appropriate) are essential to reducing the dependence on diabetes medications, but not everyone will be able to come off these medicines completely.”

Prediabetes causes blood sugar (glucose) to rise higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Over time, 70 percent of people with prediabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes. This is important because prediabetes affects more than 84 million (one in three) Americans), according to the CDC.

The good news is that people who have developed prediabetes for a short time (less than three years) experience better outcomes in minimizing the effects through diet and exercise.

“Slowly increasing your exercise routine to 150 minutes per week and losing weight with a healthy, balanced diet is the best way to minimize the effects of diabetes or prevent it,” continued Zepp. “Memorial’s Weight Loss & Wellness Center team combines nutrition, exercise, behavioral health and medical treatments to help patients meet their healthy lifestyle goals.”

Ready to make a change?

For individuals who are at risk for diabetes or have prediabetes, Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center’s Healthy You Program is an approved National Diabetes Prevention Program to prevent Type 2 diabetes. To begin a diabetes prevention or weight loss program, contact Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center.

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