Stop Pre-Diabetes Before It Gets Worse

Pre-diabetes is a condition that results when your blood sugar, also known as blood glucose, is higher than it should be, but not high enough to be considered full diabetes.   If you ignore this condition, chances are good that it will get worse and you will develop diabetes.  But if you take action now, research shows that you may be able to halt the progression of pre-diabetes or even reverse it.

Your body uses the hormone insulin to control blood sugar. Insulin acts like a key to help cells in the body open up and take in sugar from the blood.  All cells need sugar as a source of energy.  Pre-diabetes may result when the pancreas is no longer able to produce enough insulin to meet the needs of your body, or may occur if your cells become resistant to the work of insulin.

Having pre-diabetes puts you at higher risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, as well as heart disease and stroke.  Over time, Type 2 diabetes can cause damage to systems throughout your body.  Damage to the retina of the eye can lead to blindness. Damage to kidneys can cause kidney failure. And damage to nerves in the legs is a common cause of foot wounds that will not heal which can lead to foot or leg amputations.

The good news is you can lower your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 58% by making changes to your diet and being more active.

  • Lose 7% of your body weight –That’s about 15 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds now.   Even if that doesn’t take you down to your ideal weight, it can make a big difference in lowering your diabetes risk.
  • Get More Exercise – Try to get 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days a week.  A brisk walk is a great way to start out.  If this is too much for you to start with, find a level of exercise that is appropriate for your current fitness and abilities.

The American Diabetes Association’s Small Steps to Your Health page offers simple advice to help you get started.

Many people with pre-diabetes do not have any symptoms.  Your healthcare provider can do blood tests to check your sugar levels and determine if you have the condition.  You can also check your diabetes risk using the American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Risk Test.

If you have pre-diabetes, you have the opportunity to stop your condition from getting worse and reduce your risks of many serious health complications.  Talk to your healthcare provider for more advice to help control pre-diabetes.

Denise DeWitt is a freelance writer for Empowher.com.

Sources:

American Diabetes Association. What to Do If You Have Prediabetes. Web. July 9, 2012.

http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/prevention/pre-diabetes/if-you-have-prediabetes.html

eMedicineHealth. Diabetes Mellitus. Robert Ferry Jr., MD. Web. July 9, 2012.

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/diabetes/article_em.htm

American Diabetes Association. Small Steps to Your Health. Web. July 9, 2012.

http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/fitness/getting-motivated/small-steps-to-your-health.html?loc=what-to-do-prediabetes

American Diabetes Association. Pre-Diabetes FAQ. Web. July 9, 2012.

http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/prevention/pre-diabetes/pre-diabetes-faqs.html

American Diabetes Association. How to Tell if You Have Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes. Web. July 9, 2012.

http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/prevention/pre-diabetes/diagnosis.html

American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Risk Test. Web. July 9, 2012.

http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/prevention/diabetes-risk-test/

 

Related Links:

Do You Have Pre-Diabetes?

http://www.empowher.com/diabetes/content/do-you-have-pre-diabetes

Exercising Tips for Diabetes

http://www.empowher.com/diabetes/content/exercising-tips-diabetes

Body Weight and Diabetes

http://www.empowher.com/diabetes/content/body-weight-and-diabetes

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