Prediabetes impacts more than 1 in 3 American adults. This condition is characterized by higher than normal blood sugar levels. If ignored or untreated, prediabetes will eventually develop into type 2 diabetes. To prevent or delay the progression to type 2 diabetes, you must catch prediabetes early and start improving your lifestyle as soon as possible. It is possible to reverse prediabetes and your general doctor can help.
What is prediabetes?
While prediabetes isn’t a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, this diagnosis should still be taken seriously. After all, you are putting yourself at risk for heart disease and stroke. People can have prediabetes and never even know it, which is why you should visit your general doctor at least once a year for bloodwork to check your blood sugar levels. This is the most effective way to catch this chronic health problem early. If you don’t take the proper steps you need to right now to control your blood sugar the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes goes up significantly.
Can you reverse prediabetes?
Just because your doctor told you that you’re prediabetic doesn’t mean that you will necessarily develop type 2 diabetes if you take a proactive stance right now to improve your health. Some ways to reverse prediabetes include:
- Lose weight if overweight or obese, or maintain a healthy weight
- Get regular physical activity (at least 150 minutes of moderate activity a week)
- Eat a whole, balanced, unprocessed, and low-carb diet
- Find ways to manage stress
- Get quality sleep and find ways to improve your sleep hygiene
- Treat sleep apnea
- Stop smoking
We understand that one of the biggest challenges for patients is figuring out how to identify which foods are healthy and which foods might seem healthy but actually aren’t. If you’ve been told by your doctor that you have prediabetes, talk to them about the best lifestyle changes for you. A doctor can also refer you to a nutritionist or dietitian who can help you make smarter and healthier dietary choices.
Everyone, no matter their risk, should be turning to their general doctor at least once a year for an annual checkup including bloodwork to check blood sugar levels and to make sure that you are healthy. These checkups could just protect you against diabetes.