Prevent Prediabetes and/or Type 2 Diabetes
Prediabetes occurs when a person' blood glucose levels are higher than the normal levels but are not high enough to say that they have type 2 diabetes. Doctors sometimes refer to this state as Impaired Glucose Tolerance or Impaired Fasting Glucose. This label simply depends on which test was used to detect that you had prediabetes.
Why Is Prediabetes Dangerous?
Prediabetes is a precursor for type 2 diabetes. This is not to say that everyone who has prediabetes will develop diabetes. It does indicate, however, that your body is likely to develop diabetes and that your body may already be experiencing some of the negative health effects of diabetes. If you have Prediabetes, you are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease.
Research does show that it is possible to prevent diabetes if you have prediabetes, or at least to slow down the onset of the condition. This can be accomplished through lifestyle changes. A recently completed Diabetes Prevention Program study through the American Diabetes Association showed conclusive evidence that people with prediabetes can prevent developing type 2 diabetes with diet and exercise changes. It is even possible that they can return their blood glucose levels to normal levels!
Steps to Take
In order to make these remarkable changes, you'll need to change your diet and exercise. Thirty minutes each day of moderate physical activity, along with a 5-10% reduction in body weight produced a 58% reduction in diabetes in this study conducted by the American Diabetes Association. Certain medications were also found to help delay the onset of diabetes, but diet and exercise had more dramatic results.
These results are incredibly dramatic. Even if you can't get to your goal weight, a loss of even 10-15 pounds can make a huge difference. If you can manage to lose 5-10 percent of your total body weight - even better. If you have prediabetes, you are at 50% more risk for heart disease or stroke. You should be careful about your use of tobacco, your high blood pressure and your high cholesterol. In addition to diet and exercise, your doctor may put you on cholesterol or blood pressure medicine. They will certainly recommend that you eliminate cigarettes, drugs and alcohol from your life completely.
How To Know You Are At Risk?
Many times, people with prediabetes don't even know they have it. If they aren't showing any of the risk factors for diabetes, they may not be aware of their condition. Anyone who is overweight and 45 years of age or older should be checked for prediabetes during the next routine medical visit. For adults who are over 45 but not overweight, you should ask your doctor if testing is necessary. If you are under 45, overweight and have any of the risk factors for diabetes, then the doctor may test you as well. Risk factors for prediabetes and diabetes include high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides, a family history of diabetes, a history of gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby over 9 pounds, or belonging to an ethnic or minority group that is considered high risk for diabetes.
Make sure that you are aware of this condition and that you take action to reduce your chances of having prediabetes and diabetes. The healthier you are, and the more active you become, the less risk you have for these conditions. You may even be able to reverse prediabetes with these important steps. Good luck and stay healthy!