Did you know that more than one-third of American adults have prediabetes, putting them at high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. If you’ve been told you have high blood sugar or are prediabetic, there are steps you can take to turn your health around.
At Prima Medicine, with locations in Fairfax and South Riding, Virginia, our providers offer personalized treatment plans to help patients manage their Type 2 diabetes and prevent health complications. We also help prediabetic patients get their health back on track with customized care.
Here’s a look at prediabetes and five steps you can take to get your blood sugar and health under control.
Prediabetes refers to the condition of having elevated levels of blood glucose, or blood sugar. When you have this condition, your blood sugar is higher than a healthy level but lower than someone with full-blown diabetes.
People with prediabetes have a significantly increased chance of developing Type 2 diabetes. This condition also increases your risk for developing heart disease and stroke. Fortunately, the condition is reversible, and there are steps you can take to turn your health around.
While learning you have prediabetes may be scary, it’s helpful to consider that prediabetes is a warning sign for your overall health. You can reclaim your health by taking steps in the right direction.
Here are five things you can do if you have diabetes and want to get on the path to better health:
When you have prediabetes, it’s important to stay in touch with your Prima Medicine team more frequently and keep track of your blood glucose levels more than you would have before being diagnosed with the condition.
This will help ensure that you’re moving in the right direction — away from full-blown Type 2 diabetes — and that the steps you’re taking are working. As part of the process, our team may recommend lab work, such as the following:
Your provider will make recommendations based on your unique situation and needs.
One of the most important steps you can take if you have prediabetes is to lose excess body weight. In fact, obesity is the No. 1 risk factor for developing Type 2 diabetes, and having extra pounds can increase your risk.
Instead of focusing on a specific number on the scale, however, it’s better to focus on making positive, healthy changes and working toward a lower body weight. Even losing only moderate amounts of excess weight can help reverse prediabetes and prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes. Talk to your Prima Medicine provider for help on losing weight safely.
Reversing prediabetes requires a change in diet for most people, but the good news is that these changes will be good for your blood sugar levels, your overall health, and for losing weight.
Base your meals and snacks around plant foods, such as fruits and vegetables. These foods are high in fiber, which will help you feel fuller, longer, and will also help keep you from snacking on less healthy choices.
Make leafy, green veggies the star of your plate, and base your proteins around healthy options, such as legumes, beans, and tofu. To satisfy your sweet tooth, eat fruit. Furthermore, opt for whole grains — such as brown rice — over processed grains, such as white rice.
And avoid eating certain foods, such as:
Finally, replace your processed fats, such as olive oil and canola oil, with foods that have healthy, whole fats, such as avocados, nuts, and seeds.
Increasing your physical activity can help improve your overall health and help keep your blood sugar under control. Exercise promotes better blood circulation and improves insulin sensitivity, making it a key part in managing both prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes.
What’s more? Regular physical activity can help you eat better, because your body will crave healthy nutrients to fuel your moves. Furthermore, engaging in regular physical activity can help promote weight loss, better sleep, improved mood, and better protection against chronic and acute diseases.
Finally, if you’re prediabetic, you should watch out for signs that you may have developed Type 2 diabetes. If you experience any of the following, don’t wait to seek medical help:
If you’re diabetic or have prediabetes, or if you want to see if either of these conditions is affecting you, we can help. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Prima Medicine today. We also take telemedicine appointments.