If you have been diagnosed as having Prediabetes it means your blood sugar is higher than it should be and if your blood sugar stays too high for too long you will likely be a candidate for Type 2 Diabetes. However, with lifestyle changes you may be able to reverse this condition and get your blood sugar back to normal to avoid or delay diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes happens when your pancreas cannot make enough insulin or the body does not use the 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. The food we eat turns into blood sugar. Without insulin your body cannot use the sugar to nourish the cells for energy and it stays in the blood instead. Over time high blood sugar can cause serious problems for your sigh, heart, blood vessels, nerves and kidneys.
What causes Prediabetes?
The exact cause of Prediabetes is not really known. Some people who are overweight, have poor diets and do not exercise regularly or have a family history of diabetes are likely candidates for Prediabetes. Women who have had gestational diabetes during pregnancy may also develop Prediabetes.
In most cases there are no symptoms for Prediabetes, but you need to watch for the following signs:
- Excessive thirst
- Urinating more than usual
- Excessive hunger pangs
- Blurred vision
- Unusual loss of weight
If for any of these reasons you feel you may be at risk for Prediabetes then you should visit your health care practitioner to have a hemoglobin A1c test done, which will determine your blood glucose reading.
Prevention or Treatment
Being overweight will increase your risk for Prediabetes, especially if your excess fat is in the belly area. If you don’t exercise at all – start a regular program to lose weight. A brisk walk 3 to 4 times a week will help you to keep fit. Change your diet to include more fiber. Avoid “junk” foods high in carbohydrates as well as sugary drinks. Avoid baked goods high in fat and sugar. Try to eat the same amount of carbohydrates at each meal, keeping your meals small and eating more often. If you are a smoker – quit smoking! Have your blood pressure checked as well as your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
You may also need to take medication to lower the sugar in your blood, but research has found that over the long term, healthy lifestyle changes can work better than medicine at reducing your risk of getting Type 2 Diabetes.
It may be required that you have an A1c test done on a regular basis – usually every 2 to 3 months to monitor your blood sugar level as this may help you avoid falling into the Type 2 Diabetes category. A visit to a dietician may be appropriate if you are not sure how to maintain a healthy balanced diet.
Prediabetes is a warning sign that you are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. It is estimated that 7 out of 10 people who have Prediabetes will end up with Type 2 Diabetes. Over time, high blood sugar levels increase your risk for diabetes, heart disease or stroke even if you are still healthy and as you age your risk will increase. However, by changing your lifestyle through losing weight, eating a balanced and healthy diet along with exercise you can reduce your risk for Type 2 Diabetes and related health problems.
Don’t forget to visit your chiropractor for regular checkups as well to ensure your entire body is working to keep you healthy.