Doctors are making a special effort this month warning their patients that a few lifestyle changes can help them recover from type 2 diabetes – and help them avoid it entirely in some cases.

“There is evidence that if you change your lifestyle and eat fruits and vegetables, you can reverse type 2 diabetes and also prediabetes. This means you would no longer have to take diabetes medicine, “ said Eric Aakko, health education communication and planning division director with the Weld County Health and Environment Department.

Communities nationwide are taking charge against prediabetes, diabetes and prevention and designated November as Diabetes Awareness Month.

Diabetes is a chronic disease when the pancreas cannot produce insulin. With some lifestyle changes, it could be reversed in some cases. About one in 10 adults in Weld County reported a diagnosis of diabetes, which totals about 19,500 adults in Weld County, according to ta department community health survey from 2019.

The health department offered tips that could prevent type 2 diabetes or reverse prediabetes:

Start changing your lifestyle by taking small steps, but don’t get discouraged if there is a setback, it’s not a failure. With motivation and encouragement, you can get back on track.

Do at least 30 minutes of physical exercise five times a week but start slowly until you have conditioned yourself.

Eat a balanced diet of foods such as high in fiber, low in fat and sugar. Also, eat a variety of fruit and vegetables as well as protein and carbohydrates. Drink water instead of sweetened drinks.

By losing 5 to 7 percent of your starting weight, you could prevent or delay diabetes or reverse prediabetes.

Seek support from a health professional or family to help with lifestyle changes to stay on track.

The health department also recommends vaccinations and booster shots because people with diabetes are more likely to get extremely sick from COVID-19 or the flu.