Prediabetes: Take the path to prevention

Sometimes, if we’re lucky, we get a heads-up about a potential problem—like a traffic jam that is blocking our route—which allows us to change course and go in a different direction.

Learning you have prediabetes is a little like that.

Prediabetes means your blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. However, it also means you’re at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Almost everyone who has type 2 diabetes had prediabetes previously. But not everyone who has prediabetes will progress to full-blown diabetes. In fact, if you’re diagnosed with prediabetes it’s crucial to know this: You can often reverse prediabetes by making a few changes in your eating and exercise habits that will put you on a route to a healthier life.

Are you at risk for prediabetes?
Prediabetes doesn’t cause symptoms, so the only way to know if you have it is to get tested. Talk to your provider if you have any of these risk factors:

● You’re overweight.
● You’re at least 45 years old.
● Your parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes.
● You are physically active fewer than three times a week.
● You ever gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds.
● You had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy).

Turn it around
In addition to raising your risk of type 2 diabetes, prediabetes also makes you more vulnerable to having heart disease or a stroke.

That’s why it’s important to make lifestyle changes to keep your blood sugar levels in the normal range and lower your risk. Those changes include:

  • Losing 7% of your body weight if you’re overweight. For someone weighing 200 pounds, that’s a loss of 14 pounds.
  • Exercising moderately. You don’t have to join a gym. Moderate exercise can be as uncomplicated as taking a brisk walk at least five days a week.
  • Eating a healthy diet. Focus on vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy products. Avoid processed, fried and fatty foods and sugary drinks.

Recognized by the American Diabetes Association, the Riverside Diabetes Wellness Center provides education and management tools, classes, support groups and nutritional counseling. Talk with your doctor about the Diabetes Wellness Center to help you manage your diagnosis.

Let us help!
Call today to schedule an appointment at the Riverside Diabetes Wellness Center: 815-936-6515. We are open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.