Can diabetes be prevented? May I know if I am at risk of having it?

Nearly 4.6 million Spaniards suffer from type 2 diabetes, and one in three does not know it. Diabetes is a disease that is characterized by an increase in blood glucose levels because the pancreas does not produce insulin or because the body does not use it properly. Normal blood glucose values ​​range between 70 and 100 mg/dl.

Type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM1) usually begins in children and young adults, hence its name of juvenile diabetes. It is also possible, although less frequent, for this type of diabetes to start after age 40. Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2) usually begins in mature adults, hence the popular name of diabetes in older people. It is the most common form of diabetes, and occurs between 90% -95% of all cases. Type 2 diabetes mellitus is due to the body's inability to produce insulin or to properly use insulin itself.

As we have already commented on previous issues, combating obesity and sedentary lifestyle with the practice of exercise reduces its appearance up to 58% in a population at risk of suffering it.

Maintaining a normal weight, without being overweight or obese, adopting a low-calorie diet based on the Mediterranean diet and exercising regularly at least 30 minutes a day for five days a week are the best measures for the prevention of diabetes type 2.

We can know our risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years with a recent instrument, the FINDRISK test, in which with only eight questions it is possible to anticipate the risk of developing diabetes. This test is available on the website of the Diabetes Foundation: http://www.fundaciondiabetes.org/

The criteria that the FINDRISK test takes into account to obtain the risk of the appearance of type 2 diabetes are: age, abdominal perimeter, body mass index (BMI), physical activity, consumption of fruits and vegetables, medications for blood pressure control, a history of high blood glucose or diabetes during pregnancy and having a family history of diabetes. Finally, the risk is cataloged between low risk and very high risk. Knowing our risk will undoubtedly be a powerful instrument with a view to the preventive measures that each person takes to avoid developing this disease.

Dr. Joseph Perez. Clinical Hospital of Z Rehab Center

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