If you've been told you have Pre-diabetes, it's time to take control of your condition and prevent or delay Type 2 Diabetes.
What is prediabetes?
Prediabetes means your blood sugar level is higher than normal but not yet high enough to be called diabetes. And it tends to get worse over time. If you have prediabetes, there is a good chance that you will get diabetes within the next 10 years unless you take steps to prevent it. Your body's cells need glucose (sugar) for energy. But the cells can't use glucose unless they also have insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas. Having prediabetes means your body isn't making enough insulin and/or has trouble using the insulin it produces. This causes sugar to build up in your blood. Even before your blood sugar rises high enough to be diabetes, it may cause lasting damage to your blood vessels and increase your risk of heart disease and other harmful conditions.
How will I know I have prediabetes?
You probably won't know you have prediabetes unless you get tested. Prediabetes usually doesn't cause any symptoms. You can have diabetes without knowing it because many symptoms can come on so gradually that you may not notice them. A blood test can show if your blood sugar, or plasma glucose, is above normal. Your doctor can use any of these three tests to check for prediabete.
If your doctor has said you have prediabetes, you may not be too concerned. Although prediabetes is not yet diabetes, it is a warning sign that type 2 diabetes may lie ahead. It means your body may not be using or making insulin properly.
Prediabetes can be a slippery slope to diabetes. An estimated 26 million people in the U.S. have diabetes. Another 79 million have prediabetes. Each year, some of these people will progress to full-blown diabetes. And many of them won't even realize it. But, diabetes can often be prevented. Learn the steps you can take to protect your health.
Prediabetes doesn't have to become diabetes. Research has found that diabetes can be prevented or delayed with lifestyle changes. In fact, some people can get their blood sugar levels back to normal range.
To prevent or delay diabetes:
- Lose some weight. Losing just 5 to 7 percent of your weight can make a big difference in your blood sugar. For a 200-pound person, that's a weight loss of only 10 to 14 pounds.
- Boost your physical activity. Moderate exercise, like walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week, can lower your blood sugar and also help you lose weight.
Just making these two changes can cut your risk of getting diabetes by more than half. These lifestyle changes can also help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. Talk to your doctor about how to start exercising and making healthy food choices that can help you lose weight.
*This information taken from United Healthcare, it is not to take the place of your doctor's advice. If you have concerns about the possibility of prediabetes or diabetes, please consult your physician.