August 4, 2022 2:49 pm
If your provider told you that your blood sugar is higher than normal, you might have what’s known as prediabetes. Will you eventually develop diabetes or is reversing prediabetes possible?
A prediabetes diagnosis is a red flag that says pay attention, but the good news is that it doesn’t automatically mean you will develop Type 2 diabetes, which is a serious health condition. Instead, consider it an important message that it’s time to take steps to improve your health and prevent diabetes with some better lifestyle habits.
If you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes, that means your blood sugar levels (or blood glucose levels) are higher than normal but not high enough for a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
Prediabetes is common among adults in the United States, affecting 96 million adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you’ve been diagnosed with the condition, that might be a good thing because more than 80% of people who have prediabetes don’t know it. Now you have an opportunity to make changes that lower your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
In many cases, incorporating healthy lifestyle habits into your daily routine over a period of weeks or months is enough to lower your blood sugar to a healthy level.
Your Strategy for Reversing Prediabetes
So, how can people with prediabetes lower their blood sugar? Start with these healthy habits:
- Aim for weight loss. Talk with your provider about what a healthy body weight looks like for you. Even losing a few pounds can make a big difference in lowering your blood glucose levels.
- Amp up your physical activity. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. Choose an activity that you enjoy, such as walking, jogging, swimming, water aerobics or even dancing. Anything that gets your heart pumping is a good choice.
- Don’t smoke. If you smoke, take steps to quit. Smoking can cause insulin resistance, which means your pancreas is having trouble managing insulin and causing your blood sugar levels to rise. This eventually causes a progression to Type 2 diabetes.
- Find healthy ways to manage stress. Some people turn to smoking, fast food, alcohol and other temporary “comforts” when feeling stressed. Find healthier ways to cope, such as meditation, a new hobby, spending time in nature, and socializing more often with family and friends.
- Fuel up on a healthy diet. Avoid added sugar, excess sodium and saturated fat. Fill up on fresh fruits and vegetables, supplemented by lean protein and whole grains. It’s best to limit your intake of processed foods, which are often packed with unhealthy stuff.
Reversing Prediabetes Benefits Your Overall Health
Keeping your blood sugar in a normal range requires a commitment to your new healthy lifestyle habits. Once you lower your blood sugar and maintain it, you can overcome a prediabetes diagnosis and lower the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and other serious health conditions, such as heart and kidney diseases, nerve damage and other problems. Talk with your primary care provider, who can work with you to create a plan that’s best for you.
Have you been diagnosed with prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes? The experts at the Magnolia Diabetes Center can help.
This post was written by Magnolia Regional Health Center