Knowledge: The 1st Step in Preventing Pre-Diabetes

Prediabetes is a term that is used when you are at risk for type 2 diabetes. It means that your blood sugar is higher than it should be. Most people who get type 2 diabetes have prediabetes first. The good news is that lifestyle changes may help you get your blood sugar back to normal and avoid or delay diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong disease that happens when the pancreas can’t make enough insulin and/or the body’s tissues can’t use insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body’s cells use sugar (glucose) for energy. It also helps the body store extra sugar in muscle, fat, and liver cells. Without insulin, the sugar can’t get into the cells to do its work. It stays in the blood instead. This can cause high blood sugar levels. A person has diabetes when the blood sugar stays too high too much of the time.

Over time, high blood sugar can cause serious problems with the eyes, heart, blood vessels, nerves, and kidneys. High blood sugar also makes a person more likely to get serious illnesses or infections.

Making the changes in the box above may help delay or even prevent diabetes. You may also avoid or delay some of the serious problems that you can get when you have diabetes, such as heart attack, stroke, and heart, eye, nerve, and kidney disease.

What causes prediabetes?

Doctors don’t know exactly what causes prediabetes. However, they do know that people who are overweight, aren’t physically active, and have a family history of diabetes are more likely to get prediabetes. Women who have had gestational diabetes are also more likely to get prediabetes.

Can prediabetes be prevented?

Staying at a healthy weight, eating healthy foods, and getting regular exercise can help prevent prediabetes.

What are the symptoms?

Most people with prediabetes don’t have any symptoms. But if you have prediabetes, you need to watch for signs of diabetes, such as:

  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Urinating more often than usual
  • Feeling very hungry
  • Having blurred vision
  • Losing weight without trying

How is prediabetes diagnosed?

A blood test can tell if you have prediabetes. You have prediabetes if:

  • The results of your hemoglobin A1c test are 5.7% to 6.4%.
  • The results of your fasting blood glucose test are between 100 and 125 milligrams per deciliter.
  • The results of your oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) are 140 to 199 mg/dL (2 hours after the beginning of the test).

How is it treated?

The key to treating prediabetes and preventing type 2 diabetes is getting your blood sugar levels back to a normal range. You can do this by making some lifestyle changes.

  • Watch your weight. If you are overweight, losing even a small amount of weight may help.
  • Make healthy food choices.
  • Eat real foods. Avoid foods with hydrogenated oil.
  • Limit how much fat you eat, and try to eat foods that are high in fiber.
  • Try to eat about the same amount of carbohydrate at each meal. This helps keep your blood sugar steady.
  • Talk to your doctor, a diabetes educator, or a dietitian about an eating plan that will work for you. There are many ways to manage how much and when you eat.
  • Be active. You can do moderate activity, vigorous activity, or both. Bit by bit, increase the amount you do every day. You may want to swim, bike, or do other activities. Walking is an easy way to get exercise.

How to Deal With Sugar Cravings

Consuming excesses sugar can affect your sleep and lead you into a vicious cycle of low energy and high sugar consumption. But you can reset your body to consume less—or no—added sugar, and you will feel incredible.


Sugar’s Effect on Your Sleep, and How to Quit

Consuming excess sugar leads to more awakenings when you’re trying to sleep through the night, according to a 2016 sleep study conducted by Columbia University, where 26 adults were studied in a sleep lab.


A Beautiful Day (or The Psychology of Sugar Cravings)

Close your eyes. (You may need a friend to read to you.) Visualize a great day. You just had an excellent night’s sleep, the sun is shining, and you have incredible energy.