What is Prediabetes?
A person may have a blood sugar level that is above normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. This is prediabetes, and it means you’re more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
It is estimated that 86 million people age 18 and older fall into the prediabetes catagory. That’s 1 out of 3 Americans – and 9 out of 10 people don’t even know they have it.
With prediabetes, your pancreas still produces enough insulin in response to carbohydrates. However the insulin is less effective at removing the sugar from the bloodstream, so your blood sugar remains high. This condition is called insulin resistance.
What are the early signs of Prediabetes ?
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst
- Excess hunger even after eating
- Fatigue, even when well rested or after a meal
- Blurred vision
- Weight gain for no apparent reason and not able to lose weight even when reducing calories and increasing exercises
- Feeling anxious, brain fog, and feeling hangry
What does a diagnosis of prediabetes mean for my health?
Most importantly prediabetes is reversible. You can prevent or delay prediabetes from developing into type 2 diabetes with some proven lifestyle changes.
Having prediabetes doesn’t mean you’ll definitely develop diabetes but it is a warning and wake up call to make lifestyle changes.
Many assumptions are made that people with prediabetes do not eat healthy but this is not always true and other lifestyle changes may need to occur.
Risk factors that can increase your chances of developing prediabetes:
- being overweight
- being inactive
- having high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- chronic stress
- giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
Avoiding or reversing prediabetes through lifestyle & how to incorporate new habits to balance healthy blood sugar levels
- Eat a healthy diet. Replace refined carbohydrates with wholegrains and put more plants-based foods on your plate.
- Exercise regularly – at least 30 minutes 5 times a week
- Maintain a healthy BMI and body weight
- Avoid or stop smoking
- Eating food groups in a particular order helps to reduce the blood sugar response: First eat the non-starchy veggies, next protein and fat then last the carbohydrates on your plate.
- Drink water and avoid sweetened drinks
- Maintain good sleep habits
- Work on stress reduction techniques like mediation, yoga or tai chi.
Maintaining healthy blood sugar is not a one size fits all approach. People get hung up on the quantity of carbs in their diet, but it is the quality that matters. Whole-grains can provide energy, fiber, vitamins, minerals, satiety and fullness.
Watch out for hidden carbs and sugars! Making healthy lifestyle changes can be hard. Even when you succeed in making steps in the right direction, our convenient lifestyles present us with another challenge…It’s very hard to know exactly what is in your food when you eat out or get takeout. People worry about so-called hidden bad carbs and sugars. One way of managing this problem is to plan ahead and find restaurants that offer healthy options or limit portion size. After all, you deserve to enjoy the foods you love.