One out of every three adults in the United States has prediabetes. If you have prediabetes, you’re at greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. But unlike diabetes, prediabetes is reversible.
Here at Weston Medical Health & Wellness, we are all about helping our patients take steps to prevent chronic health issues like diabetes. Our medical director, Dr. Andrea Bretal, believes diet and lifestyle are key in reversing prediabetes and preventing diabetes.
How can you reverse the signs of prediabetes? Here, we want to share with you some of our methods.
Prediabetes is common and reversible, but that doesn’t make it any less serious. Prediabetes occurs when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis.
That sugar in your blood is the main source of energy for all the cells in your body. Insulin, a hormone made in the pancreas, acts like a key, opening the door to your cells so sugar can enter.
If you have prediabetes, some of your cells may have changed the locks, limiting access to the actions of the insulin so the sugar stays in your bloodstream. In response, your pancreas increases insulin production to help keep blood sugar levels within normal range.
Over time, the pancreas can’t keep up with demands, insulin production declines, blood sugar numbers go up, and you have prediabetes. When left undiagnosed and untreated, the cycle continues, leading to Type 2 diabetes.
Signs and symptoms of prediabetes
Many people have prediabetes and don’t know it because they don’t have any outward signs or symptoms. Some people may have blurry vision or develop dark patches of skin (acanthosis nigricans) under their arms or on their neck.
Instead of looking for signs and symptoms, we look at prediabetes risk factors, such as:
- Being 45 or older
- Overweight and obesity
- Limited physical activity
- History of gestational diabetes or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Family history of Type 2 diabetes
If you’re at risk of having prediabetes, we do a blood sugar test to check your numbers.
Having prediabetes gives you an opportunity to change your future health. You can reverse your prediabetes and prevent Type 2 diabetes by losing a small amount of weight and getting regular exercise.
Modest weight loss
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests losing as little as 5% of your current weight can lead to significant improvements in your health and blood sugar. That’s 10 pounds for a 200-pound person.
You don’t have to join a gym or workout for hours, but getting 30 minutes of exercise five days a week can help reverse your prediabetes. Try walking, riding a bike, or swimming laps in the pool.
We also encourage eating a balanced diet and finding healthy outlets for your stress, which helps improve your blood sugar numbers.
Are you concerned about diabetes or prediabetes? Let us help you transform your health and reverse your risk factors. Call our office in Weston, Florida, or click here to book an appointment online.