Getting diagnosed with prediabetes can be quite a wake-up call. Prediabetes means your blood sugar levels are higher than they should be, but not quite high enough to be considered diabetic. However, getting diagnosed with prediabetes does not mean that you are guaranteed to develop diabetes. With some lifestyle changes you can delay or even prevent diabetes. Read on below for 7 changes to make to help reduce your risk of progression.
Know Your Risk
The first step to taking control of your health is to be well informed of your risk factors. The American Diabetes Association has a Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test that you can take in just a couple of minutes. You can also see your doctor if you suspect that you are at risk, and they can do a simple blood test for diabetes screening. This is also a great time to chat with your doctor about what steps to take to reduce your risks.
Getting more active is an essential part of stopping prediabetes in its tracks. Not only will it lower blood glucose levels, but it will help you manage your weight and reduce high blood pressure. You’ll also start sleeping better which in turn helps to improve your mood and energy levels, alleviating stress! The ADA recommends 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise five days a week and strength training two days a week.
Improving your diet and choosing more healthful foods can make a huge difference for a person with prediabetes, reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Try reducing your carb intake and add in lean meats, fresh veggies and healthful fats. Also be sure to get a wide variety of foods to balance your nutrients and eat smaller portions.
As mentioned above, with proper exercise and healthy eating you are likely to shed some extra pounds! Even losing a few pounds can drastically reduce your chances of getting diabetes.
See Your Doctor
Once you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes it can be helpful to see your doctor a bit more often. Not only can they always recommend lifestyle changes and tips for reducing your chances of developing diabetes, but they can also provide some much needed positive reinforcement when you’re doing well!
It’s tough to make potentially major lifestyle changes once faced with prediabetes. Make sure to talk with your family and friends and have them hold you accountable and provide support. You can also consider joining a group with people who have similar health goals, such as a group fitness class to help make these changes a fun new part of your routine.
You are human, and you are allowed some mistakes along the way! It can be a lot of work to change up your routine and break bad habits. If you slip up on your new good habits, give yourself a break and turn to your support group or doctor for help if you need it. And remember than you can always get back on track tomorrow!