Prediabetes: 3 Tips to Prevent Progression to Type 2 Diabetes

Prediabetes can be a scary diagnosis to receive from your doctor. However, for some it can be a lifesaving wake up call. The goal of this article is to help you better understand prediabetes and provide some simple steps you can take to prevent progression to Type 2 diabetes.


What is Prediabetes?

Prediabetes is when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough for your doctor to diagnose diabetes. It is estimated that almost 85 million individuals in the U.S. have prediabetes. In other words, nearly 1 out of 3 American adults! In addition, you can have prediabetes for years with no symptoms, which can lead to more serious health complications including increased risk of heart disease and stroke.  

Prediabetes Causes

Prediabetes occurs when your body is unable to make or use insulin properly. As a result, this causes too much glucose to build up in the blood, which is harmful to the body over time. The exact trigger of prediabetes is somewhat unknown, but there are several risk factors that make a diagnosis more likely. Some of these risk factors include:

  • Weight
  • Being 45 years or older
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Lack of exercise
  • Gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds.

Furthermore, certain races and ethnicities may also be at a higher risk including African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and some Asian Americans.  

3 Tips to Preventing Prediabetes

The American Diabetes Association and Web MD offer several lifestyle suggestions for those trying to reverse prediabetes. Here are 3 tips to get you started.  

Move for 30 Minutes Each Day

Try to set a goal for yourself to move for at least 30 minutes each day. It can be something as simple as running errands, playing with your kids or grandchildren, or even just walking around your neighborhood. The key is just to get moving! Additionally, you can start with less time and work your way up to 30 minutes if you need to. However, be sure to check with your doctor before increasing your effort level.  

Improve Your Diet

Improving what you put into your body is another great way to reverse prediabetes. Avoiding refined carbs like white bread, soda, and juice is a good place to start. Try to replace these with healthier choices like non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, and other types of superfoods. Start small and set minor goals for yourself with a focus on improving each week. The best diet is the one you can stick to and even small changes can make a major difference over the long term.  

Reduce Your Stress Levels

Stress hormones can raise your blood sugar. By making a commitment each day to set time aside for relaxation, you will be able to better manage your stress levels as well as have the energy needed to exercise. You may think you don’t have any time to rest during the day, but this dedicated time each day can provide a much-needed boost for your health. In addition, this time can help boost your overall productivity throughout the day. A few suggestions for activities that promote relaxation include listening to music, deep breathing or meditation, or taking up a new hobby! How you choose to relax is not important. What matters is choosing something you enjoy and staying consistent with it over time.  

Prediabetes Isn’t Forever

Prediabetes is extremely serious and shouldn’t be taken lightly. However, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about it. These 3 tips will help you get started on your journey, but the most important thing is to find something that works for you and stay consistent. Understand that prediabetes didn’t happen overnight and reversing it won’t either. But with a focus on consistently improving over time, you can take back control of your health and avoid more serious complications.   1 2 3

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