January 30, 2016

Have Prediabetes, Steps to Take Now

Receiving a diagnosis of prediabetes can be a good thing. Still many people do not use this wake-up call and let it progress to type 2 diabetes. I was not one of the lucky ones as I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes shortly after the ADA had the “experts” declare the range of 100 to 125 mg/dl as prediabetes in 2003.

Receiving a diagnosis of prediabetes should be a serious wake-up call, but most doctors refuse to give this to patients. The doctors still use the terms “watch what you eat as your blood sugar is creeping up,” or “your blood sugar is elevated.” Other doctors still use the older term “borderline diabetic”, or that you have a “touch of sugar.” Most times you will not even be told anything if your blood glucose levels are less than 115 to 120 mg/dl.

The above is the reason to always ask for a copy of all test results. This is how you can check what your doctor tells you and you will know if you have prediabetes.

Knowing that you have prediabetes does not mean that you will definitely develop diabetes. You often still have time to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. You and you alone have an opportunity to initiate changes and possibly prevent the progression to type 2 diabetes. Consider making these seven changes in your daily habits.

1. Move More Becoming more active is one of the best things you can do to make diabetes less likely. If it's been a while since you exercised, start by building more activity into your routine by taking the stairs or doing some stretching during TV commercials. Physical activity is an essential part of the treatment plan for prediabetes, because it lowers blood glucose levels and decreases body fat. Ideally, you should exercise at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Let your doctor know about your exercise plans and it is important to ask if you have any limitations.

2. Lower Your Weight If you're overweight, you might not have to lose as much as you think to make a difference. In one study, people who had prediabetes and lost 5% to 7% of their body weight (just 10-14 pounds in someone who weights 200 pounds) cut their chances of getting diabetes by 58%.

3. See Your Doctor More Often See your doctor every three to six months or find a different doctor if he has refused to recognized prediabetes. If you're doing well, you can get positive reinforcement from your doctor. If it's not going so well, your doctor can help you get back on track. Patients like some tangible evidence of success or failure.

4. Eat Better
  • Load up on vegetables, especially the less-starchy kinds such as spinach, broccoli, and green beans. Aim for at least three servings a day.
  • Add more high-fiber foods into your day.
  • Enjoy fruits in moderation - 1 to 3 servings per day.
Also, swap out high-calorie foods. Drink whole milk, diet soda rather than regular soda. Choose fatty versions of cheese and yogurt. Choose fresh fruit and peanut butter.

5. Make Sleep a Priority
Not getting enough sleep regularly makes losing weight harder. A sleep shortfall also makes it harder for your body to use insulin effectively and may make type 2 diabetes more likely. Set good sleep habits. Attempt to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Relax before you turn out the lights. Don't watch TV or use your computer or smartphone when you're trying to fall asleep. Avoid caffeine after lunch if you have trouble sleeping.

6. Get Support Losing weight, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly is easier if you have people helping you out, holding you accountable, and cheering you on. Consider joining a group where you can pursue a healthier lifestyle in the company of others with similar goals.

7. Choose and Commit
Having the right mind-set can help. This means having a positive attitude above all else. Accept that you won’t do things perfectly every day, but pledge to do your best most of the time. Make a conscious choice to be consistent with everyday activities that are in the best interest of your health. Tell yourself, ‘I’m going to give it my best. I’m going to make small changes over time.’ These changes will add up.

2 comments:

Denise Elliott said...

Great post, as usual, Bob. I really need to put more energy into getting to sleep earlier since I have to be up early every day and am chronically sleep deprived.

Bob Fenton said...

It is unfortunate that many people do not get the sleep necessary. I know that before I was sleep deprived also and then I added sleep apnea on top of that. Once I started using a CPAP machine I did get more sleep, but until I retired, I still was not getting enough. Now I probably get too much, but I do feel better.