American Diabetes Month takes place each November to raise awareness and understanding of diabetes, its consequences, management and prevention of type 2 diabetes. Take control of your health. Learn the facts you need to make smart health choices.
WHAT IS PRE-DIABETES?
Pre-diabetes occurs when your body isn’t able to keep your sugar (glucose) at a normal level. Your blood sugar is higher than normal, but it’s not high enough to be diabetes.
Pre-diabetes is a term that is used when you are at risk for type 2 diabetes. Most people who get type 2 diabetes have pre-diabetes first. The good news is that lifestyle changes may help you get your blood sugar back to normal and avoid or delay diabetes.
Pre-diabetes has no symptoms, but you can watch for the signs of type 2 diabetes:
- feeling very thirsty
- urinating more often than usual
- feeling very hungry
- having blurred vision
- losing weight without trying
PRE-DIABETES RISK FACTORS
You have a risk of developing pre-diabetes if you:
- are overweight
- have a history of diabetes in your family
- are of a certain ethnicity (African American, Hispanic, Native Amer-ican, Asian American, and Pacific Islander)
- are physically inactive
- have high blood pressure
- have abnormal lipid levels
– low HDL cholesterol
– high triglyceride levels
- have signs of insulin resistance
- have impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)
- have impaired fasting glucose (IFG)
- have a history of gestational diabetes
What Can You Do About Pre-diabetes?
Here are some healthy lifestyle choices you can begin making today:
Watch Your Weight
- Maintain a normal weight (a modest weight loss of 5-10% can help prevent pre-diabetes).
Make Healthy Food Choices
- Eat lots of vegetables and fruits. Choose from the rainbow of colors to maximize variety.
- Choose whole grain foods over processed grain products.
- Cut back on high calorie snack foods and desserts.
- Eat four times as much white meat—such as poultry or fish—as red meat.
- Eat more unsaturated fats (like olive oil and avocado). Limit saturated fats (like bacon and
cheese), and avoid trans fats (like potato chips and margarine).
- Minimize your alcohol consumption.
- Track what you eat and drink.
- Get physically active (recommendations include exercising moderately for 30 minutes a day, five days a week or 150 minutes per week). Brisk walking is a good example of moderate exercise.
- Think about your current habits. How active are you? Pick some changes that will make the biggest impact.
- Find something you enjoy doing. Try different activities on different days.
Stay on Track
- If you smoke, quit.
- Take medication as prescribed by your physician.
- Check your blood sugar regularly as directed by your physician.
- Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control.
- Attend all medically-related appointments.