Preventing type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. It occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body cannot properly use the insulin that is released.

Am I at risk for developing type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes can occur without you knowing it, so it is important to be aware of the risk factors[PDF | 1.27 MB]:

  • Age – are you 40 years of age or older?
  • Race – are you a member of a high-risk population (Aboriginal, Hispanic, South Asian, Asian, or African descent)?
  • Weight – are you overweight (especially around your middle)?
  • Family history – do you have a close family member (parent, brother or sister) with diabetes?
  • Gestational diabetes – have you had gestational diabetes (during pregnancy)?
  • Large baby – have you given birth to a baby that weighed over 9lbs?
  • High blood pressure – do you have high blood pressure?
  • High cholesterol – do you have high cholesterol?
  • Impaired glucose (sugar) tolerance or impaired fasting glucose – have you been told you have impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose?

Don't ignore these risk factors. If you think you might be at risk for developing diabetes, complete the Canadian Diabetes Risk Questionnaire (CANRISK) [PDF | 408 KB] and discuss the results with your family physician or nurse practitioner.

The earlier you are diagnosed, the sooner you can take action to stay well – now and in the future. If you already have type 2 diabetes, then your children, brothers, and sisters are at risk. Urge them to be tested for diabetes.

Can type 2 diabetes be prevented?

Research has shown that you can prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes by taking steps to manage your blood glucose when you have prediabetes. Prediabetes refers to blood glucose levels that are higher than normal, but not yet in range to diagnose type 2 diabetes.

How can I delay the onset of type 2 diabetes?

Simple lifestyle changes can make a huge difference in your health and quality of life.

  1. Maintain a healthy weight.
  2. Eat healthy meals and snacks – follow Canada’s Food Guide
  3. Get regular physical activity.
  4. Quit smoking.

What else can I do to learn more about living healthy to prevent type 2 diabetes?

The PEI Diabetes Program provides 'At Risk' classes that discuss healthy living approaches to help you reduce risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes. The class is usually 3 hours and covers the following topics:

  • Prediabetes and diabetes
  • Healthy eating
  • Physical activity

Where can I get more information about 'At Risk' classes?

Contact a Diabetes Program in your area to inquire about or to register for an 'At Risk' class:

Souris & Montague Diabetes Program
Montague Health Centre
407 MacIntyre Avenue
Montague, PE   C0A 1R0

Telephone:  (902) 838-0787
Fax:  (902) 838-0986

Queen East Diabetes Program
Sherwood Business Centre
161 St. Peter's Road
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Telephone:  (902) 368-4959
Fax:  (902) 894-0321

Queen West Diabetes Program
Four Neighborhoods Health Centre
152 St. Peter's Road
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Telephone:  (902) 569-7562
Fax:  (902) 368-6936

East Prince Diabetes Program
Harbourside Health Centre
243 Heather Moyse Drive
Summerside, PE   C1N 5R1

Telephone:  (902) 432-2600
Fax:  (902) 432-2610

West Prince Diabetes Program
O'Leary Health Centre
14 MacKinnon Drive
O'Leary, PE   C0B 1V0

Telephone:  (920) 859-3929
Fax:  (902) 859-3922

Published date: 
June 30, 2021
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