Risk Factors for Women
Having gestational diabetes when you're pregnant puts you at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes later on. Women who give birth to a baby weighing over 9 pounds are also at risk. Having a history of polycystic ovary syndrome can also cause insulin resistance that can lead to diabetes.
Diagnosing Type 2 Diabetes
A simple blood test can diagnose diabetes. The A1C test gives a snapshot of your blood glucose level over the past two to three months. An A1C level of 6.5% or more is consistent with the diagnosis of diabetes. A fasting plasma glucose test is another option. You must not eat for eight hours before the test. A result above 126 is considered diabetes. An oral glucose challenge test with a two-hour blood test may also help your doctor make a diagnosis.
Managing Diabetes: Diet
Fortunately, controlling blood sugar levels by changing diet can also cut your risk of complications. People with type 2 diabetes should carefully monitor carbohydrate consumption, as well as total fat and protein intake, and reduce calories. Ask your doctor for a referral to a registered dietitian to help you with healthy choices and an eating plan that will work for you.
Managing Diabetes: Exercise
Moderate exercise, such as strength training or walking, improves the body's use of insulin and can lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Being active also helps reduce body fat, lower blood pressure, and protect against heart disease. People with type 2 diabetes should try to get 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week.