Could You Be Pre-Diabetic and Not Know It?

As in type 2 diabetes, prediabetes is a condition that causes your blood sugar to elevate, just not to the levels required to diagnosis you as diabetic — yet. 

It’s a fairly common condition in the US, and nearly one-third, or 84 million, suffer from prediabetes. The most amazing part of that statistic is that about 90% of them are completely unaware of their prediabetic condition. 

Don’t stay in the dark about your health. Dr. Dareld Morris at the Morris Medical Center can help you understand the symptoms of prediabetes and the seriousness of the condition. Because prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are almost always preventable, Dr. Morris wants to make sure you catch them as early as possible to keep symptoms under control and potentially reverse your prediabetes. A simple blood test can let you know if you have it or not.

The cause of prediabetes

It all starts in your pancreas. That’s the little organ that produces insulin, which is the hormone that makes it possible for your cells to use the sugar in your blood as energy. When something disrupts that chain of events, you have problems.

In the case of prediabetes, your cells start behaving differently and stop turning your blood sugar into energy as they should. Your pancreas thinks your cells must need more insulin to kick them into gear, so it floods your system with more. When that doesn’t do the trick, eventually your pancreas stops trying, and your blood sugar levels have nowhere to go but up — that’s prediabetes. And it will turn into full-fledged type 2 diabetes if you don’t do something about it.

Risk factors for prediabetes

It’s difficult to identify prediabetes because the symptoms are subtle and often nonexistent. Rather than searching for symptoms, it’s more effective to consider your risk factors. Certain lifestyles and physical conditions are definite precursors to prediabetes, which means there’s a good chance you can make a few changes and take yourself out of the risk column. Here are some common characteristics of prediabtetic people:

Manage or reverse prediabetes

If you have prediabetes, your primary goal is to get a handle on it, so it doesn’t progress to type 2 diabetes. That means addressing these issues:

Lose weight

The best way to start is to lose a little weight. If you are seriously overweight or obese, that thought may seem daunting. If you make small, achievable goals, you’ll make huge strides in your efforts to halt your prediabetes from progressing. Losing even 5-7% of your body weight (only about 10 pounds if you weigh 200) can make a big difference. 

Move more

Take up walking. Walking is a great introduction to physical activity, especially if you’ve been sedentary for a few years. Try 30 minutes a day as often as you can, and work your way up to five days a week. 

Find a friend who can walk or work out with you to keep yourself accountable to your new routine.

Hire a personal trainer to make sure you exercise properly and progress well.

Eat better

A healthy diet will help you lose weight and also improve other health conditions. Focus on a diet that’s low in fat and calories, but high in fiber. That means you can go for whole grains, vegetables, lean meat, and legumes. And by all means, keep sugar to a minimum.

Calm down

Stress can directly impact your blood sugar levels, so you want to do whatever you can to keep calm. Obviously, you want to avoid major situations and people that cause dramatic spikes in your stress levels, but also beware of less-noticeable sources, like worrying about your diabetes condition, that may create long-term stress.

Being prediabetes is not a guarantee you’ll get type 2 diabetes, but why take the chance when a few lifestyle changes can get you back on a healthy track? Call us today to schedule a blood test and an appointment with Dr. Morris, or schedule it online. It’s time you found out where you stand with prediabetes. 

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