One in three Americans is pre-diabetic – and 90% of them don’t know it.
If your physician told you that you are pre-diabetic, it means that your blood sugar level is higher than normal, but it is not high enough to be considered diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an individual’s weight and genetics are often critical factors in developing prediabetes.
It’s possible that you had no symptoms at all. Or maybe you were just a little hungrier or thirstier than usual. Or you had to go to the bathroom more frequently or you have been more tired than usual. If you were in the early stages of diabetes, you may have noticed some of these signs. But for many individuals, there was no indication until you were told by your doctor. So what can you do now?
Simply stated, you must make a choice every day to adopt a healthier life style.
- Eat well. Fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, lean meat, fish, non-fat or low fat cheese, water (instead of sugar-sweetened beverages). Choose foods lower in saturated fat, calories, trans-fat and sugar.
- Exercise. Before you start an exercise program, check with your doctor. But it is usually recommended that you get 30 minutes or more of physical activity most days of the week.
- Lose weight. See “Eat well” and “Exercise.” Being overweight (a body mass index or BMI higher than 25) does increase your risk for developing prediabetes.
- You may need medication. For those who are at a very high risk of developing diabetes, your doctor may recommend a medication.
Responding to a diagnosis of pre-diabetes may not be easy. But it is worth it!