You know diabetes is a serious health condition, but you may not realize that you may be at risk for it.
About 96 million American adults (one in three) have prediabetes, where their blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Here’s the startling part: more than eight in 10 of these people don’t know it.
Here at Physician’s Medical Primary Care, we work with people of all ages to diagnose and treat diabetes. Here’s how to tell if you’re at risk for prediabetes and if you can reverse the diagnosis.
Risk factors for prediabetes
You can have prediabetes for many years without showing any symptoms, so you likely won’t know you have prediabetes until a serious health issue arises. To avoid this problem, think about getting screened for prediabetes if you have any of the following risk factors:
- You’re over age 45
- You have a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes
- You’re overweight or obese
- You only have physical activity three times a week or less
- You have a history of gestational diabetes
If you have prediabetes, you have up to a 50% chance of developing diabetes in the next 5-10 years — if you don’t do anything about it.
Prediabetes is like an alarm to wake you up before it’s too late. If, however, you act now, you can indeed reverse your condition. The question is, how are you going to respond?
How to reverse prediabetes
The basic idea of reversing prediabetes is simple (it’s the execution that’s hard). You must consistently focus on lifestyle changes that will lower your blood glucose levels. This approach works best when you focus on three major areas:
Improve your diet
The main idea is to reduce the calories you take, but there’s more than one path to get there. You should also focus on healthy, nutrient-rich foods that help your body instead of high-sugar foods that can harm it. Talk to a nutritionist to learn exactly what kind of plan you should follow based on your goals and your unique situation.
Lose 5%-7% of your body weight
You don’t have to lose as much weight as you think to become healthier. Every little bit helps, so on a 200-pound person, 5%-7% would just be 10-14 pounds. Again, working with a certified nutritionist or diet coach can make all the difference here — they can help determine your goals and then set a plan for you to follow.
Stay physically active
Even a small amount of physical exercise can make a big difference. The American Diabetes Association recommends 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise each week. That may sound like a long time, but break it into smaller chunks to be more doable. For example, 150 minutes is just five 30-minute walks each week.
For more information and resources on preventing prediabetes from turning into full-fledged diabetes, you can also check out the National Diabetes Prevention Program.
If you think you may be at risk for prediabetes (or if you’ve already been diagnosed), the experienced physician’s Medical Primary Care team would be honored to walk you through treatment. Just visit our contact page to find the office closest to you, and feel free to call or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment. Whatever your situation, you’ll find many benefits in not going through this alone.