Prediabetic? – Head Off A Diagnosis of Type-2 Diabetes
Part of an annual physical exam is the testing of your blood for high glucose levels that can indicate diabetes. Diabetes is a serious condition that can lead to a variety of medical problems, including heart disease, stroke, kidney impairment, circulatory failure, nerve pain and vision impairment. If you have been diagnosed as "prediabetic," your blood glucose levels indicate that you are at high risk for developing type-2 diabetes. However, you can take proactive steps to change your lifestyle to head off the development of this serious disease.
WHAT IS PREDIABETES?
Health professionals have determined that high glucose generally develops over time, and when blood glucose levels fall within a certain range, they can predict whether patients will develop type-2 diabetes within 10 years or less. Your healthcare provider may use a number of different types of tests to determine your glucose levels. Each of these uses a different scale to measure blood glucose. Fasting glucose tests, glycolated hemoglobin tests (A1C) or oral glucose tests may be used.
CHANGE YOUR HABITS TO AVOID TYPE-2 DIABETES
If your test results fall just under the range that would indicate type-2 diabetes, you still have a chance to reverse the trend. Managing your diet, exercise and reducing your weight can have a significant effect on blood glucose levels. However, keeping your blood sugar levels down requires a full-hearted commitment to changing your daily habits.
IMPROVE YOUR DIET
Take a close look at the foods you eat on a daily basis. If you're like most people, you may consume a high level of carbohydrate foods in the form of sugar, bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. To maintain better glucose levels, you must change your diet to include low-fat proteins, like lean meats, eggs, dairy products, beans, as well as slower-metabolizing carbohydrates, such as nuts and whole-grains. Avoid processed foods of any kind. These are foods that have those long lists of ingredients on the labels, many of which you cannot pronounce. Processed foods tend to be high in sugar, fat and salt. Increase your consumption of vegetables, using them as your prime source of calories, and reduce the amount of pasta and rice. Only eat whole-grain forms of these products. Snack on vegetables and hummus, low-fat yogurt and nuts and seeds, like almonds and pumpkin seeds.
COMMIT TO REGULAR EXERCISE
Exercising helps to remove glucose from the bloodstream by burning the sugar as muscle fuel. Whatever type of exercise you prefer will accomplish these effects. Take long walks, do a workout at the local gym or engage in a sport you enjoy. The important aspect is to do it on a regular basis. To manage prediabetic glucose levels, you should exercise for at least 30 minutes, five days a week.
Obesity is one of the main risks for developing type-2 diabetes. If you are carrying extra pounds, eating healthier foods and getting regular exercise will help you to lose weight. However, you should also cut down on portions to limit the amount of calories you consume throughout the day. Nibble on fresh vegetables or have a sugar-free snack in-between meals to prevent the feeling of being deprived that can undermine weight loss efforts.
Stress can also play a part in managing blood glucose levels. The "fight or flight" hormones can inhibit insulin production that is needed to remove glucose from the body. In addition, individuals under stress may eat more and neglect their exercise. If you have been diagnosed as prediabetic, learn to manage your stress on a daily basis. You can engage in deep breathing, do meditation, take walks to clear your head or engage in absorbing hobbies that help you to feel more relaxed and in control.
A diagnosis of prediabetes may feel like "the party is over," but it also signals an opportunity to double your efforts at self-care so you can live a long and active life.
If you are worried about your well-being and want to be evaluated, Urgent Clinics Medical Care offers complimentary blood glucose testing in all of our locations. No appointment is necessary at any of our clinics which are open 8 am to 9 pm daily and are conveniently positioned in Champions Forest, The Woodlands and 3 locations in League City: Creekside, Marina Bay and Tuscan Lakes. Our Pearland Clinic is open 8 am to midnight 7 days a week.