How can I prevent diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes develops most often in children and young adults. It is not known if you can prevent this type of diabetes. Likewise, doctors don’t know if gestational diabetes (diabetes developed during pregnancy) can be prevented. However, there is a lot you can do to prevent the complications of diabetes; complications such as heart and blood vessel disease, blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage, teeth and gum problems, and toe, foot or leg amputations. You can manage your diabetes and prevent these problems by taking your medication correctly, eating healthy foods, losing weight (if overweight) and by getting moderate regular exercise.

If you have pre-diabetes (you have higher than normal glucose levels, but not high enough to be called diabetes) you may be able to prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes. A recent study indicates that exercise alone may help someone with pre-diabetes avoid Type 2 diabetes. Researchers believe that Type 2 diabetes, the form of diabetes that usually develops in adults over age 40, can often be prevented.

The following tips can help you manage or avoid diabetes:

  • Exercise – ask your doctor what is best for you. Usually, a person needs to exercise at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
  • Eat breakfast – studies suggest that people who do not skip breakfast are less likely to develop diabetes.
  • Lose weight, if you are overweight.
  • Eat a healthy diet- you need food high in fiber and must watch what kind of carbohydrates you eat. Decrease fat and calories. Talk to your doctor about a diet plan.
  • Monitor your blood glucose
  • See your doctor regularly.
  • Take your medication, if prescribed, and follow your doctor's advice.

To learn more:

This site has lots of helpful information. It provides simple explanations of diabetes and how to monitor blood sugar levels, diet information and exercise tips.
American Diabetes Association
Select Diabetes Prevention from the menu on the left. You can choose to take the Diabetes Risk Test or read about pre-diabetes. Select How to prevent pre-diabetes for information about nutrition and exercise.

next » Where can people with diabetes get help and more information?

Written by: Barbara Carlson, M.L.S.
Last Modified: Monday November 04, 2019 12:23 PM