You likely know that diabetes is among the most common chronic illnesses in our country. However, you may not know that as many as nine in ten diabetes cases are preventable? It’s true. Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for up to 95% of all diabetes diagnoses, can often be prevented through simple and readily achievable lifestyle changes.
However, the window of opportunity for prevention begins to shrink quickly once your blood sugar rises to prediabetic levels.
A prediabetes diagnosis may be scary, but it can also be empowering. Rather than viewing your condition as your path to type 2 diabetes, consider it an opportunity to take charge and restore healthy blood sugar levels and prevent type 2 diabetes. Here’s what the primary care providers at MyNP Professionals in Brown Deer, Wisconsin, want you to know.
Prediabetes, the immediate precursor stage of type 2 diabetes, is common, affecting about 84 million Americans, or more than one in three adults. More disturbing than this statistic is that 90% of people with prediabetes don’t know they have it.
Type 1 diabetes, which usually emerges during childhood, occurs when the pancreas stops producing insulin, the hormone that helps dietary sugars enter your body cells, where they’re converted into energy. This form of the disease has no precursor stage and can’t be prevented.
Type 2 diabetes is far more common yet largely preventable. It develops when the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin to keep up with demand or when cells become insulin resistant. Insulin resistance means that your cells no longer respond typically to insulin.
Prediabetes is when your blood sugar levels are elevated beyond what’s considered healthy, but they’re not yet high enough to qualify as type 2 diabetes.
Usually, prediabetes can be reversed through targeted lifestyle changes. Here’s what that entails:
If you’re overweight, losing even a few pounds is among the most significant steps you can take to improve your blood sugar levels.
You needn’t reach your ideal body weight to see health benefits. Dropping just 5% of your body weight may be enough to decrease your blood sugar levels and reverse your condition.
The human body is made to move, and most people feel better when they do. Regular exercise is essential for preventing full-blown diabetes and improving your overall health.
The goal should be 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise almost daily. However, some people find it easier to break that into smaller increments, such as multiple, 10-minute brisk walks.
Eat a healthy diet
A healthy diet centers on fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, whole grains, lean proteins, and heart-healthy, unsaturated fats. It also limits or excludes highly processed foods, foods containing trans fats, and foods rich in added sugars.
What you drink is as important as the food you consume. Choose water or unsweetened beverages such as plain tea or coffee when possible. Avoid alcohol, sports and energy drinks, fruit juice, and soda.
Protecting your long-term health
Don’t let a prediabetes diagnosis frighten you. Instead, consider it a wake-up call to make lifestyle changes to improve your health and well-being. You don’t have to go it alone either. Our popular diabetes prevention programs have helped countless people reverse their prediabetes diagnosis and reclaim healthy lives.
Call our office at 414-269-4206 or book an appointment online to learn more about managing your arthritis with our concierge medicine services.