More than 86 million American adults over the age of 65 have prediabetes, and most of them don’t even know it. If you have prediabetes, your blood sugar levels are consistently higher than normal. This puts you at an increased risk for heart attacks and strokes, as well as kidney, nerve and eye damage.
What a Prediabetes Diagnosis Means
Prediabetes develops when your body has trouble using insulin. Insulin is necessary to transport glucose into your cells via the bloodstream. In prediabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or has developed a resistance to it. #Prediabetes is an indication that you may develop type 2 diabetes in the future unless you make some lifestyle changes. Click To Tweet If you’re not familiar with prediabetes or diabetes, it’s important to educate yourself on the basics.
A registered dietitian can help you create a meal plan that’s full of healthy foods that will keep your blood glucose level in check. The goal of the meal plan is to ensure that your blood glucose level is kept at a healthy, normal range. Your meal plan will be customized to you, taking into account your exercise level, tastes, and preferences.
If you’re overweight, get started on a weight loss program as soon as you’re given the green light by your doctor. Losing just 5 to 10% of your weight can dramatically reduce your risk of developing diabetes. Exercise causes your body to use more glucose, which can lower your blood glucose level. During physical activity, your body doesn’t need as much insulin to transport the glucose, so your body becomes less insulin resistant. The American Diabetes Association recommends at least 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days per week.
Your doctor should keep a close watch on your blood glucose levels, monitoring them to make sure that your pre-diabetes doesn’t become type 2 diabetes. Make it a priority to follow your doctor’s guidance and make it to every appointment.
If your doctor suspects that you are at a particularly high risk of developing diabetes, he or she may prescribe medication. Most preventative medications prevent the liver from making more glucose than you need, thereby keeping your blood glucose level normal.
Even if you aren’t overweight and don’t have symptoms of prediabetes, your endocrinologist may want to start testing your blood glucose level if you’re over 45. Staying proactive is the smart thing to do because the risk of developing prediabetes increases with age. There are many serious complications from diabetes, so vigilance and a healthy lifestyle will serve you well.
Contact Us for more guidance after a diagnosis of prediabetes, or if you need to be tested.