Did you know that around 85 million Americans are believed to have prediabetes? That’s nearly a quarter of the national population.
Prediabetes simply means that your blood sugar is higher than the healthy, normal range, but not quite high enough to result in a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Your body may be starting to lose its ability to process sugar properly. People in this category are at a high risk of developing diabetes within the foreseeable future.
But that doesn’t mean it’s inevitable! Many people with prediabetes eventually go on to develop diabetes, and most that make no effort to change their lifestyle trajectory ultimately will. But at this stage, there is still time to change course and stop diabetes before it starts. Making healthy choices can help you prevent your condition from worsening to Type 2 diabetes, and may even be able to restore your sugar levels to the normal range.
Your treatment should include:
- Eating right. Keep the fat and calories low, and fiber high. Avoid processed sugars and carbs, and go easy on the red meats. Eat plenty of fruits and veggies, as well as whole grains and nuts.
- Exercise. Exercise gets the blood pumping—literally. Circulation improves and cells get better and more efficient at absorbing nutrients. Shoot for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity per day. (That might be too tough a goal right away, but if you start with what you can handle and build slowly, we know you can get there.)
- Lose weight. This is, hopefully, a natural consequence of items 1 and 2. But it’s worth repeating. Excess body fat, especially around the midsection, is one of the most common risk factors for both prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes. If you’re developing healthy habits, too, you’re much more likely to keep the weight off once you’ve lost it.
- Get plenty of rest. Not getting enough sleep at night is correlated with higher rates of prediabetes and diabetes.
We know it’s difficult at first, but once you’ve developed healthy habits, you’ll feel better, look better, have more energy—oh yeah, and you’ll have greatly reduced your risk of contracting a devastating disease.
Are you one of the 85 million Americans with prediabetes? If you’re over 45 or have any of major risk factors (family history, obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, poor sleep habits) we recommend you book an appointment to see your primary care doctor for screening. A diagnosis of diabetes can help clarify the risks and push you toward a healthier future. To schedule an appointment with Associates in Podiatry for any of our diabetic foot care services, give us a call today at (609) 924-8333 for our Princeton office, or (908) 687-5757 for Roselle Park.