Diabetes (Mellitus, Type 1 and Type 2) (cont.)
It is not yet known how to prevent type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, however, can be prevented in some cases.
- Control weight to normal or
near-normal levels by eating a healthy low-fat, high-fiber diet.
- Regular exercise is crucial to the prevention of type
- Keep alcohol consumption low.
- Quit smoking.
- If a person has high blood fat levels (such as high cholesterol) or high blood pressure, take
all medications as directed.
- Lifestyle modifications and/or certain medications can be used in people with prediabetes to prevent progression to diabetes. Prediabetes can be diagnosed by checking fasting glucose and
2 hours after ingesting up to 75 grams of glucose (dosing is based on the weight
of the patient).
If you or someone you know already has diabetes, the focus should be on preventing the complications, which can cause serious disabilities such as blindness, kidney failure requiring dialysis, amputation, or even death.
- Tight glucose control: The single best thing a person with diabetes can
do is to keep their blood sugar level within the suggested range every day. The
only way to do this is through a combination of regular blood sugar checks; a
balanced diet low in simple sugars and fat, and high in complex carbohydrates
and fiber; a high degree of personal motivation; and appropriate medical treatment.
Consult a nutritionist or
check with a doctor with questions in regard to diet.
- Quit smoking
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Increase physical activity levels. Aim for moderately
vigorous physical activity for at least 30 minutes every day.
- Drink an adequate amount of water and avoid
consuming too much salt.
- The skin should be taken care of; keep it supple and hydrated to
avoid sores and cracks that can become severely infected.
- Brush and floss the teeth every day. See a dentist regularly to prevent gum disease.
- The feet should be washed and examined daily, looking for small cuts, sores, or blisters that may cause problems later.
The toenails should be filed rather than cut to avoid damaging the surrounding skin.
A specialist in foot care (podiatrist) may be necessary to help care for the feet.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/3/2014
Must Read Articles Related to Diabetes (Mellitus, Type 1 and Type 2)
Caring for Your Diabetes at Special Time
Be prepared to manage your diabetes, and control blood sugar and symptoms when you're sick, when you're at work or school, when traveling, during pregnancy, or ...learn more >>
Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic eye disease is a complication from diabetes. Types of diabetic eye disease include background diabetic retinopathy, nonproliferative diabetic retinopat...learn more >>
Diabetic Foot Care
Read about diabetic foot care. Causes of foot problems in people with diabetes include footwear, nerve damage, poor circulation, trauma, infections, and smoking...learn more >>
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Diabetes (Mellitus, Type 1 and Type 2):