More than one in three American adults have prediabetes, a serious health issue that can lead to diabetes. Prediabetes has no clear symptoms and can only be detected with a blood test. With prediabetes, blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but are not in the diabetes range.
If your doctor has told you that you have prediabetes, this doesn’t mean you are destined to get diabetes, but it does mean you are at a higher risk than someone without prediabetes.
Awareness is critical in preventing prediabetes from progressing to diabetes.
Know your risk. Take the diabetes risk test through the American Diabetes Association.
Regular checkups with your doctor are important to confirm that you have prediabetes. Your doctor will check your fasting blood sugar levels as part of your regular exam.
If you learn that you have prediabetes, or are at risk, then you and your doctor can come up with a plan to improve your health and lessen the risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Being overweight is a top reason for getting type 2 diabetes. The best way to prevent type 2 diabetes is to adopt a healthy lifestyle – one that features regular exercise and smart food choices.
Even losing a small amount of weight will help – a five to seven percent weight loss lessens the risk of developing diabetes if you have prediabetes. It can also lower your blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels.
When you choose to exercise regularly you take an active role in managing your care. Ask your doctor about activities that are safe for you. For most people, exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week, helps to reach and maintain a healthy weight.
The bottom line: Exercise is critical. If you’re eating healthy and exercising, then your risk of developing diabetes decreases significantly.
To keep your blood sugar from rising and prevent prediabetes, you need to be more conscious of what you are eating. Choose foods that are rich in nutrients and low in calories and fat. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are great because they are high in fiber.
The way to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes is to choose a healthy lifestyle. In particular, you should:
WHA members interested in getting fit and staying healthy can choose Active&Fit Direct, which allows them to work out at any fitness center in their network. The monthly cost is just $25 (plus tax where applicable) – that’s less than $1 a day! In addition, WHA has partnerships with other health clubs that are not part of the Active&Fit network. For details on all discounts, visit mywha.org/gyms or call Member Services at 888.563.2250.