With a paternal family history of Type II diabetes, what can I do as a healthy, normal-weight, 41-year-old female to reduce my risk of developing diabetes later?
Family history is just one of several risk factors for diabetes, so it doesn’t mean you’re destined for diabetes. Obesity is another risk factor, and it’s an important one, so you should make sure you maintain your normal weight as you get older.
Regular aerobic exercise is recommended for diabetics and may also help prevent Type II diabetes. A recent study at Yale School of Medicine found exercise to be beneficial in preventing diabetes in certain groups of older people.
Screening guidelines for diabetes call for a test at age 45, and if that’s normal, tests every three years thereafter. If you have a strong family history and one or more other diabetes risk factors, (such as being African-American), you might want to start that testing earlier and get screened more frequently.
As with so many other diseases, early detection brings the best chances of keeping Type II diabetes under control.