A Startling Wake-Up Call
About 1 in 3 adults in the US have prediabetes. And what’s more, many are unaware of having the diagnosis. Although having prediabetes can be a startling wake-up call, the good news is that the condition is reversible. Here’s what people can do to prevent prediabetes from progressing into type 2 diabetes.
Increasing activity is one of the best strategies for preventing type 2 diabetes. Physical exercise lowers blood sugar and decreases body fat. If daily movement has fallen by the wayside, start slow. Try walking 3-4 times a week for 30 minutes at a time. Over time, increase intensity and duration. A daily exercise habit can also aid in weight loss. In one study, people who had prediabetes who lost just 5% of body weight decreased the risk of getting diabetes by 58%.
Change your diet
Consuming too many high-calorie or sugar-laden foods is a common contributing factor to prediabetes. Instead of reaching for chips or desserts, choose fresh fruit and veggies, whole wheat crackers, or low-fat cheese. Try to eat 1-3 servings of fruit daily and load up on vegetables. Aim to add more high-fiber foods into a daily diet, which can help with digestion and blood sugar control.
Many people don’t realize that sleep and diabetes are connected. But insufficient sleep can hamper insulin regulation and make losing weight more difficult. For optimal sleep health, try to go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. Try to avoid TV, smartphones, and tablets before bed. Avoid caffeine in the afternoon. For optimal results, some people may benefit from a nightly supplement, such as melatonin or magnesium.
Try some supplements
In addition to lifestyle changes, some supplements can specifically aid in lowering blood sugar. For some people, the right supplements can even decrease the need for diabetes medication. In particular, probiotics, cinnamon, and vitamin D have all been linked with improved insulin control. In fact, vitamin D deficiency is commonly considered a potential risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. After a prediabetes diagnosis, ask the doctor about testing vitamin D levels to find out if a supplement is necessary.
Seeking diabetes support
The best thing people can do to improve health is to schedule regular appointments with a healthcare provider. Additionally, people can connect with a community that will help support good health habits. This could be in the form of a diabetes support group or could be friends who keep each other accountable by taking weekly walks together. For more information about prediabetes, speak with a healthcare provider.