You’re not alone if you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes and didn’t recognize the signs of this relatively common condition. While about one in three American adults has prediabetes, more than 84% don’t realize they’re living with it.
If you have prediabetes, you have higher than normal blood sugar levels but not high enough to qualify as type 2 diabetes. While having prediabetes increases the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, it’s not inevitable.
It’s important to work to turn your health around because developing type 2 diabetes is associated with a wide range of life-threatening conditions. Having type 2 diabetes means a lifetime of constant monitoring and a higher risk of developing complications that include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, amputations, nerve damage, and vision problems.
You can reverse prediabetes and avoid the health complications associated with type 2 diabetes by following recommended lifestyle changes. The physicians at Macomb Medical Clinic in Sterling Heights, Michigan, provide expert diagnosis and treatment for patients who have a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. They can help you identify and implement preventive measures that can protect your health and reduce the likelihood of developing this life-threatening condition.
While you can’t change your family history or a genetic disposition toward prediabetes, you can change modifiable risk factors. Find out what you can do to reverse prediabetes and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Weight loss is an important factor in achieving healthy glucose levels. Losing between just 5% to 7% of your body weight can help decrease blood glucose levels. It can also improve blood pressure, a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
You can accomplish this by consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and olive oil. Eliminating as many processed foods and processed carbs as possible can also help you lose weight. Reducing the amount of red meat, processed meat, sugar-sweetened beverages, and alcohol you consume can also help you achieve this goal.
If you don’t achieve progress on your own, you may benefit from medical weight management in which a weight loss professional can support your efforts.
Maintaining an active lifestyle is another important factor in avoiding the transition to type 2 diabetes. Try to achieve at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity a week. Your total activity can be spread out in smaller sessions of about 30 minutes on at least five days.
Take prescribed medication
Your physician may prescribe medication to lower your blood sugar if you have a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes after a diagnosis of prediabetes. This medication can work with lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of progressing to full-blown diabetes.
It’s also important to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control. If you’ve been prescribed medication for these conditions, continue taking them as directed since untreated high blood pressure and high cholesterol increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Make a long-term commitment
Returning your blood glucose levels to normal can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to be vigilant about diabetes prevention. If you fall back into old habits and regain lost weight or return to a sedentary lifestyle, your risk for developing prediabetes returns.
A diagnosis of prediabetes means you’re susceptible to the condition and it can return if you don’t continue to maintain a healthy lifestyle, especially as you age because the risk of prediabetes increases after age 45.
Get regular testing
Overcoming prediabetes doesn’t mean you’re in the clear for good. A diagnosis of prediabetes means that your body doesn’t process glucose properly so you can’t ignore the possibility the condition can recur.
You should continue a program of annual diabetes testing or at intervals recommended by your physician if you have any of the following risk factors for prediabetes:
- Parent or sibling with diabetes
- Background of African-American, Latino, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander
- History of cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- An HDL (good cholesterol) level less than 35 mg/dl and/or a triglyceride level greater than 250 mg/dl
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (POS)
- A clinical condition associated with insulin resistance
Find out more about your risk for prediabetes and ways to reduce your risk of developing a serious lifelong diagnosis of full-blown diabetes. Call our office today to arrange a consultation.