While scare tactics aren’t great conversation starters, it’s a fact that more than 84 million adults in the United States are on the brink of developing diabetes, which is a systemic and chronic condition that casts a wide net over your health and wellness. If you fall into this large group of prediabetics, consider this: Forewarned is forearmed.
Here at Prima Medicine, we have one goal: Provide our patients in Fairfax and South Riding, Virginia, with the tools they need to lead long, healthy lives. And there are few opportunities like prediabetes where you can take charge of your health, changing the outcome for the better.
As part of our comprehensive health care, we believe that patient education is one of the strongest weapons we have, so we’ve pulled together the following tips for preventing prediabetes from turning into full-blown diabetes.
Diabetes refers to a group of diseases that affects how your body regulates your glucose levels, which is typically controlled by your insulin. When we refer to prediabetes, we’re talking about a condition that precedes Type 2 diabetes, in which your body has built up a resistance to insulin or isn’t producing enough to keep your blood sugar levels in check.
The resulting high glucose levels in your blood can lead to myriad problems as the excess sugar builds up, compromising the function of your blood vessels. As a result, diabetes can lead to some very serious health issues, including:
The good news is that, with prediabetes, you’re only knocking at the door of diabetes, but you still have a chance to turn it around, keeping that door firmly shut.
If you’re prediabetic, one of the most important steps you can take is to lose a small amount of weight. And a little bit goes a long way on this front. Rather than viewing this as a Herculean step, if you lose just 5-7% of your overall body weight, you can make a big difference. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, losing just 10-14 pounds can be sufficient in delaying or avoiding a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
And this type of weight loss is achievable through small changes in your diet and exercise regimen, and we’re happy to help you along the way. We can tailor a program to meet your weight loss goals that won’t overwhelm you, but rather, allow you to lose the weight in a healthy, sustainable fashion.
One of the best ways to lose weight is through exercise, which also helps your cardiovascular health. By getting your heart rate up and your blood flowing, you can help prevent sugar from building up along the walls of your blood vessels.
And we’re not suggesting you go out and run a marathon. If you start by walking five days a week, for 30 minutes at a time, you can lay the foundation for better health in no time. Whether you grab your dog or go with a friend, walking is a thoroughly enjoyable way to lose weight and improve your heart health.
While you’re moving around more, try a few simple tricks throughout your day to get a little exercise intake the stairs instead of the elevator, or park your car just a little farther away. These small efforts add up, getting you closer to your goal and further from a diabetes diagnosis.
Another great way to prevent your prediabetes from becoming full-blown diabetes is to make a few changes to your diet. With a world full of processed foods, it’s easy to get away from a healthy diet. We urge you to bypass the chips and cookies and opt, instead, for healthy vegetables and fruits. And whenever you can, choose a multi-grain option when it comes to your bread and pasta.
These are only two examples of how you can eat your way to better health, and we’re happy to sit down with you to give you a comprehensive list of dietary tips.
The last important piece to the prediabetes puzzle is vigilant oversight. If you’re at risk of developing diabetes, you need to see us regularly so we can monitor the situation closely. During our visits, we’ll check your numbers and make any necessary tweaks in your diet and exercise programs to keep you in the clear where diabetes is concerned.
Rest assured, we’re with you every step of the way as we help you take charge of your health. If you’d like to learn more about preventing diabetes, please give us a call or use the online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.