Prediabetes means that your blood sugar level is higher than it should be. However, your blood sugar is not high enough to warrant a diagnosis of diabetes. It is basically a pre-diagnosis for Type 2 Diabetes. WebMD states that roughly 86 million Americans have prediabetes (WebMD, 2016).
Just like Type 2 Diabetes, the high blood sugar levels are caused by the inefficient use of insulin. The pancreas create insulin to transfer glucose inside of the blood into energy. However, someone with prediabetes is having issues with their insulin not efficiently transferring glucose into energy. Prediabetes also increases your risk of heart disease and strokes (WebMD, 2016).
The main question that is asked after being diagnosed with prediabetes, is how can I prevent this from progressing into Type 2 Diabetes. There are several lifestyle changes that you can make to help prevent progression.
One of the main things is losing weight. When someone is overweight or obese, they are more likely to develop diabetes. Therefore, finding ways to lose weight, even a little, can make a huge difference. This can help the insulin to start being more effective again. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that losing 5% to 7% of your bodyweight can help significantly with the battle of progression. They also state that getting 150 minutes of physical activity in a week help significantly with delaying or reversing the effects of prediabetes (CDC, 2016).
Exercise is also extremely important! Making sure that you are walk, running, biking, or doing some sort of aerobic activity can help a lot in the long run. Exercise “helps prevents and manage[s] diabetes, studies show” (WebMD, 2016). This will make more opportunities for the glucose to be used as energy instead of building up.
Finally, eating healthy is another great tool for preventing prediabetes from progressing. By maintaining a low-protein diet, it will help take stress off of the body. It can also help prevent kidney failure down the road due to the way that diabetes can damage blood cells. According to WebMD, people should eat a low-protein diet, vegetables, and whole grains (WebMD, 2016). They also suggest to limit serving sizes and to eat more fiber.
If you have not been diagnosed, the following are symptoms that you could be experiencing: extreme hunger, loss of weight even with overeating, extreme thirst, frequent urination, and fatigue. If you experiencing many of these symptoms, it would be a good idea to see your physician.
There are also several risk factors involved with prediabetes and the disease in general. They are as follows: being overweight or obese, lack of exercise or physical activity, genetics, belonging to certain minority groups, being older than 45, gestational diabetes, and other health issues. If you match many of the risk categories and are showing symptoms, see a physician immediately.
Prediabetes can be scary. However, with exercising, dieting, and losing weight can make a huge impact on preventing prediabetes from becoming Type 2 Diabetes.
Centers for disease control and prevention. (2016). Prediabetes. Web. US Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/prediabetes.html
Dansinger, M. (2016). What is prediabetes?. Web. WebMD. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/what-is-prediabetes-or-borderline-diabetes