Type 2 diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, kidney damage, amputation and heart attack in the United States. This chronic disease results from insulin resistance, and it is primarily the result of excess body weight and physical inactivity. Millions of individuals in the US and around the world have type 2 diabetes, including a growing number of children and adolescents. Its prevalence has grown at an astounding rate in recent decades, yet it is a health problem that tragically remains poorly managed.

The good news about type 2 diabetes is that a great deal is known about how to prevent it. This is especially important for individuals who have risk factors for its development, including a family history of the disease and age beyond 45 years. Being physically active and achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight may be effective in delaying or preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes. The right diet, getting sufficient sleep and managing stress can be helpful, too.

It is one thing to know general guidelines that may help you avoid type 2 diabetes, but it isn’t always clear exactly how to go about making changes. If you’re serious about minimizing your risk for developing this disease, seek out care that is personalized. Customized care can help ensure you make the most of the opportunities lifestyle interventions present to keep you healthy.

Functional wellness is a type of health care that focuses on helping individuals manage and avoid chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes through customized care. When you work with a practitioner who is trained in functional wellness, you’ll benefit from a plan of care that is specifically designed to meet your body’s unique needs.

The first step in functional wellness support is a comprehensive assessment that reveals exactly what is going on with your health. It’s then possible to determine the types of interventions or therapeutic support that will be of most benefit to you. Functional wellness care practitioners take a holistic view of health, meaning they look at the individual as a whole rather than focusing on ‘parts.’ They help people learn how their bodies work, so they understand why specific changes are important. A functional wellness practitioner will teach you what you need to do, why you need to do it, plus provide all of the guidance and support you need to implement changes.

With the right plan and support, lifestyle interventions become manageable. Exercise and diet are no longer guessing games that involve generalized ‘shoulds.’ Eating properly and getting the right type of exercise become choices you make because you understand they directly impact your health, including how you look and feel on a day-to-day basis. Avoiding chronic disease like type 2 diabetes is something you actually achieve, rather than something you ‘try’ to do. Functional wellness can help you do all you possibly can to stay healthy long term.