Commonwealth Health Tips to Prevent Type-2 Diabetes

Members News

Over 30 million Americans have Type-2 diabetes. If left untreated or unmanaged, the disease can damage all aspects of the cardiovascular system, cause blindness, heart disease, loss of limbs and other serious conditions.

While Type-2 diabetes is most often diagnosed in adults 45 and older with a family history of the disease or in those who are overweight or obese, the condition is now becoming more prevalent in children, teens and young adults. Fortunately, there are small lifestyle changes and habits that can help prevent this chronic condition in people of all ages while also improving overall health.

As the most common type of diabetes, Type-2 diabetes is when the body creates too much insulin or resists it, which causes blood sugar levels to rise.

“The reality is that there is no cure for Type-2 diabetes, so taking steps to prevent this disease is your best course of action,” says Neda Danniel, M.D., family medicine physician with Commonwealth Health Physician Network.  “Even small changes in lifestyle like taking a daily walk or drinking water instead of juice can help ward off a diagnosis and make a big impact on your health.” 

Dr. Danniel suggests four ways to prevent Type-2 diabetes.

  • Manage weight and belly fat: Excess weight in the abdomen and obesity are main causes of Type-2 diabetes. Experts recommend maintaining a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 and a waistline of less than 35 inches for women and less than 40 inches for men.

  • Exercise regularly: Daily exercise can help avoid heart disease, reduce stress and Type-2 diabetes. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, like walking or biking, and two strength workouts each week.

  • Move more: Additional movement beyond exercise can also help keep off weight. Consider taking the stairs rather than an elevator or standing during work meetings to add more movement into daily life.

  • Eat fresh food: Avoid overly processed foods like chips, candy and deli meats, and focus on foods rich in fiber and nutrients like fruits, vegetables and lean protein.

Unfortunately, Type-2 diabetes could take years to develop and symptoms are often hard to detect. If you experience extreme fatigue, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet or blurred vision, it is important to get tested.

To learn more about preventing Type-2 diabetes, or to schedule a wellness exam, visit