ARE YOU AT RISK?
If you have type 2 diabetes, it is best if it is diagnosed early. You can prevent many problems with diabetes if you know about it early and take action to manage it. If you find you have a high risk of developing diabetes but don’t yet have it, you can take action that may prevent you ever getting diabetes.
Some groups of people are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes:
- European descent aged 40 years or older
- Diabetes in your family (grandparents, parents, brothers or sisters)
- Maori, Asian, Middle Eastern or Pacific Island descent aged 30 years or older
- High blood pressure
- Overweight (especially if you carry most of your weight around your waist)
- Diagnosed as having pre-diabetes (also known as impaired glucose tolerance) – this occurs when the glucose (sugar) in your blood is higher than normal, but not high enough to be called diabetes
- If you gave birth to a large baby weighing more than 9lbs / 4kg, or have had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)
- High blood glucose in pregnancy
- High blood glucose in the past
Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed through a blood test. If you think you are at risk, talk to your doctor who can organise a test.
How to try and avoid type 2 diabetes
To try and avoid type 2 diabetes developing, make the following changes:
- Stay physically active and get regular exercise. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day. Brisk walking, swimming, cycling, Marae activities, dancing and mowing the lawns all count. Remember you don’t have to do all of your daily exercise at once. For example, three brisk walks for 10 minutes in the day may be more manageable than one of 30 minutes.
- Eat healthy food.
- Keep your weight in a healthy range.