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Four Steps you can take to help change diabetes



Know your family history. 

People all over the world develop diabetes. The numbers vary from place to place and among ethnic groups. Some factors in your background will make you more likely to develop type 2 diabetes:

Family history : Type 2 diabetes tends to run in families. The more people in your family who have diabetes, the more likely you are to develop it.

Age : Type 2 diabetes usually comes on later in life – often after age 45. The symptoms start gradually, so it can go unnoticed for a long time.

Weight : At least three out of four people with type 2 diabetes are overweight, and most have been overweight for many years. Enlarged fat cells do not respond well to insulin and that means the body works harder to produce more insulin.


Eat properly

A healthy diet for people with diabetes follows the same general health recommendations for all people. Recommendations for healthy eating:

• Eat meals at regular times
• If weight loss is your goal, a loss of 1/2 to 1 kg (1 to 2 lbs) per week is safe and healthy.
• A healthy diet should include daily servings from each of the four food groups: Grains, Fruit and Vegetables, Dairy and Meat.


Exercise regularly

Physical activity is key to leading a healthy lifestyle and reducing the chance of chronic illnesses. People of
all ages who are inactive can improve their health simply with regular, moderate-intensity exercise. Physical activity does not need to be hard to be beneficial. Do check with your health care professional about how much exercise and which activities are best for you before starting a new exercise programme.

If you already exercise regularly, you will probably have found that it makes you feel better. The main thing is to start doing something active on a regular basis. It is also one of the best ways of keeping your blood glucose levels more stable.


See your GP or health care professional

Talk to your health care professional about what measures you can take to prevent diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes develops when an “autoimmune reaction” destroys beta cells in the pancreas. Autoimmune reaction means that the body creates antibodies against its own cells. As a result, the pancreas stops producing insulin or cannot produce enough insulin on its own. Treatment involves daily insulin injections, in conjunction with healthy eating and regular exercise.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a term for several disorders with different causes and degrees of severity. It is the most common type of diabetes. Often, people with type 2 diabetes can still make their own insulin in the pancreas, but the body does not use the insulin that is produced as effectively. Many people manage type 2 diabetes simply by following a healthy diet and regular exercise. In overweight individuals, type 2 diabetes often improves as a result of weight loss, a healthy diet and exercise. With the progression of the disease, some people may have to take oral medication(s) or insulin injections.

Important: Check with your health care professional on a regular basis to assess the risk factors that can predispose you to diabetes.

Information from 'four steps towards changing diabetes' leaflet. Job Number UK/DB/1011/0470a. October 2011.

In conjunction with and courtesty of Novo Nordisk UK Limited.

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