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Diabetes: Are you overweight? Losing even 7% of your body weight can reduce the risk

Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert

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The Mayo Clinic says people can try and lose excess weight in order to reduce their diabetes risk. It says if you are overweight, losing even seven percent of your body weight can reduce the risk of diabetes. The organisation says for example, shedding 14 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds. The NHS also notes early in the course of type 2 diabetes planned weight loss can reverse the disease.

It adds: “Don’t try to lose weight during pregnancy, however. Talk to your doctor about how much weight is healthy for you to gain during pregnancy.

“To keep your weight in a healthy range, focus on permanent changes to your eating and exercise habits.

“Motivate yourself by remembering the benefits of losing weight, such as a healthier heart, more energy and improved self-esteem.”

There are also dietary and exercise changes to consider, which may help reduce your risk of diabetes.

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The NHS says: “There are no lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk of type 1 diabetes.

“You can help manage type 2 diabetes through healthy eating, regular exercise and achieving a healthy body weight.”

Diabetes UK says more than half of all cases of type 2 diabetes could be prevented or delayed.

It suggests: “Set yourself realistic goals that fit in with how you live your life. Choose the healthy food and activities that you like best. This will really help you stay on track.”

In some cases the early symptoms of diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, will be subtle and difficult to spot.

Indeed, the NHS says many people have type 2 diabetes without realising, as symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.

The Mayo Clinic explains understanding possible diabetes symptoms can lead to early diagnosis and treatment, which can help you prevent the complications of diabetes and lead to a lifetime of better health.

The NHS says that you should see a GP if you have any of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes or you’re worried you may have a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

It notes: “A GP can diagnose diabetes. You’ll need a blood test, which you may have to go to your local health centre for if it cannot be done at your GP surgery.”

The Mayo Clinic says that diabetes symptoms are “often subtle” though there are a number of early signs to look out for.

The health body adds that excessive thirst and increased urination are common diabetes signs and symptoms.

It says that diabetes may weaken your ability to fight germs, “which increases the risk of infection in your gums and in the bones that hold your teeth in place”.

It notes: “Your gums may pull away from your teeth, your teeth may become loose, or you may develop sores or pockets of pus in your gums — especially if you have a gum infection before diabetes develops.”

The NHS outlines several other possible signs. These include:

  • Losing weight without trying to
  • Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
  • Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
  • Blurred vision.

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