Diabetes is a debilitating health condition that can have very serious health impacts if not managed. While some doctors believe it is possible to reverse Type 2 diabetes through lifestyle changes, there is a window of opportunity to not develop the condition at all, and that window is called prediabetes.
What is Prediabetes?
Prediabetes is a pre-cursor to Type 2 diabetes. It provides a window of opportunity to prevent or slow the progression of the disease during the ramp-up stage which can last anywhere from three to six years.
This window of time presents a chance for those who are aware they have prediabetes to make some lifestyle adjustments and potentially arrest the development of the disease.
While many factors are out of our control, there are risk factors for diabetes that you can alter on your own through lifestyle changes. If you are prediabetic and make suggested lifestyle changes, it is possible that you may never acquire type 2 diabetes.
1.Eat a clean diet, free from processed foods
2.Exercise regularly – 30 to 60 minutes at least 5 days a week.
3.Shed excess pounds and keep your waistline under 40 inches if you’re a man and under 35 inches if you’re a woman.
4.Do not smoke.
When Should You Get Screened?
If you are 40 years of age or over, you’re at risk for type 2 diabetes and should have your blood sugar tested at least every 3 years.
Speak with your doctor if you have any of the risk factors below. You may need to get tested more frequently and/or start regular screening earlier than age 40.
Who Is At Risk for Diabetes?
- Anyone with a parent or sibling with Type 2 diabetes
- Certain populations such as those of African, Arab, Asian, Hispanic, Indigenous, or South Asian descent
- Individuals who are overweight and/or with abdominal obesity
- Women who suffered from gestational diabetes, or their live-in partner, or who have delivered a baby weighing more than 9lbs
- Anyone whose mother suffered from gestational diabetes
- Those diagnosed with prediabetes
- Females suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
- Those who take certain medications, such as steroids, statins, certain antipsychotics and some HIV medications.
- People suffering from hormonal conditions, including Cushing’s Syndrome and Acromegaly.
- People with a history of pancreatitis, acanthosis nigricans, hyperuricemia (gout), non-alcoholic steatohepatitis
- Those who suffer from sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea
- People living with psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder, depression, and schizophrenia
- Older people. As humans age, we risk developing the disease due to the combined effects of increasing insulin resistance and impaired pancreatic islet function associated with aging
Still not sure of your status? Take the Diabetes Risk Questionnaire to determine your risk factor and take control of your health today.