To delay the onset of type 2 diabetes and its complications, it is important to:
- achieve and maintain normal body weight
- be physically active – at least 30 minutes of regular, moderate-intensity activity on most days (more activity is required for weight control)
- eat a healthy diet of between three and five servings of fruit and vegetables a day, and reduce sugar and saturated fats intake
- avoid tobacco use as smoking increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
The main aim when treating your diabetes is to achieve blood glucose, blood pressure and blood fat levels (including cholesterol) as near to normal as possible. Other interventions include:
- foot care
- screening for retinopathy (which causes blindness)
- blood lipid control (to regulate cholesterol levels)
- screening for early signs of diabetes-related kidney disease.
These, together with a healthy lifestyle, will help to improve your wellbeing and reduce the risk of developing long-term complications such as heart disease, stroke, lower-extremity amputation, blindness, kidney failure and nerve damage.