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Everything you need to know about prediabetes

Everything you need to know about prediabetes

If you're diagnosed with prediabetes, important to understand what prediabetes is and what you can do to prevent or slow the progression to type 2 diabetes.

Everything you need to know about prediabetes

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Prediabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.

Left untreated, prediabetes can progress to type 2 diabetes. Here’s what you need to know about prediabetes-the symptoms, causes and treatment options.

In the United States, prediabetes is a growing concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 84 million adults have prediabetes, and 84% of them don’t know they have it.

If you’re diagnosed with prediabetes, important to understand what prediabetes is and what you can do to prevent or slow the progression to type 2 diabetes.

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What is prediabetes and what are the symptoms?

As the name suggests, prediabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.

If you have prediabetes, it means your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

There’s no cure for prediabetes, but losing weight, eating healthy and exercising can delay or prevent the progression to type 2 diabetes.

There is no one definitive answer to this question as prediabetes blood sugar numbers can vary from person to person. However, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that adults with prediabetes have an A1C test every 3 months to check their blood sugar levels.

An A1C test is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar level over the past 2-3 months.

A healthy A1C level is below 5.7%. If your A1C level is 5.7% – 6.4%, you have prediabetes. If your A1C level is 6.5% or higher, you have diabetes.

What causes prediabetes

Experts don’t know exactly what causes prediabetes, but it’s linked to insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance means the body doesn’t use insulin properly, which causes sugar to build up in the blood instead of being used for energy.

Over time, this can raise your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other serious health problems.

How is prediabetes treated?

Your doctor may recommend changes in your diet and exercise routine if your labs show elevated blood sugar levels.

If your doctor finds that your blood sugar levels are often higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes, then medicines to lower blood sugars may be prescribed.

How to prevent prediabetes from progressing to type 2 diabetes

Preventing the progression from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes is possible by achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, increasing physical activity and eating healthy foods.

People with prediabetes should follow similar guidelines as people who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. That means eating foods that are lower in carbohydrates, staying active, and visiting the doctor regularly for screening.

What are the differences between prediabetes, and diabetes?

People with prediabetes have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be considered diabetes.

People with type 1 or type 2 diabetes have blood sugars that are consistently too high because their bodies don’t produce insulin or use it effectively.

If you’re diagnosed with prediabetes, although there’s no cure, it’s important to treat your condition. Maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active and eating healthy foods are all ways that you can manage prediabetes.

How does prediabetes affect your body?

If left untreated, prediabetes can cause serious health problems, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Insulin resistance, which is linked to prediabetes, can mean too much sugar hangs around in your bloodstream. Over time, it can damage the body’s cells and organs.

People with prediabetes are also at risk for developing other health problems, such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Kidney disease
  • Tooth decay and loss
  • Eye diseases, such as cataracts and glaucoma
  • Nerve damage
  • Skin problems
  • Thyroid problems

What’s the best diet for prediabetes?

The best diet for prediabetes is one that is low in carbohydrates and high in soluble fiber.

You should also aim to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats.

Limiting processed foods, sugary drinks and sweets is also important.

Following a healthy diet can help to manage prediabetes and may even prevent it from progressing to type 2 diabetes.

It’s important to ask questions and talk with a specialist about your diet if you have questions, or feel unsure of how to put meals together.

In addition to diet, regular physical activity, such as going for a daily walk, is also important.

You can start slow, and build up to a routine that makes you comfortable.

By eating well and staying active, you can lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes or having a stroke or heart attack.

The bottom line on prediabetes

Prediabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.

Left untreated, prediabetes can progress to type 2 diabetes. If you’re diagnosed with prediabetes, although there’s no cure, it’s important to treat the condition seriously and work with your care team on diabetes management.

Maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, and eating healthy foods are all ways that you can manage prediabetes. You should also aim for lower carbohydrates in your diet and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables alongside some lean protein while limiting processed foods or sugary drinks. In addition to diet, regular physical activity will help keep glucose levels stable, and may even prevent the disease from progressing.

If you’re concerned with your blood sugar levels, or show diabetes symptoms, it’s important to talk with your doctor, and get screened.

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Hi! I'm Mila.

I’m a millennial living with LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults, a slow-progressing form of autoimmune Type 1 diabetes) I love food, travel, and my kitchen!

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I’m here to help you live your best life possible diabetes by showing you how to create simple, blood-sugar friendly and delicious meals. Plus, you get video cooking demos, essays on life with diabetes, and lots of weekly joy.

 

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