You may write off diabetes as a disease that strikes only older people. But the reality is nearly 2 million women under the age of 45 suffer from the condition, which sets the stage for heart disease and stroke. New research in Diabetes Care shows that catching—and treating—it early slashes your risk for those complications: Diabetes patients who lost weight in the first 18 months after a diagnosis were twice as likely to achieve and maintain their blood sugar and blood pressure goals than those who didn't.
Do your health a favor by taking the American Diabetes Association’s free screen (diabetes.org). You may also want to ask your doc about a fasting blood glucose test. If your levels are elevated (100 mg/dL or higher), lifestyle changes—such as eating more produce and exercising—can help bring them down.