5 Steps to Prevent Prediabetes From Becoming Full-Blown Diabetes

Odds are, you’ve probably heard of or know about Type 2 diabetes. Of the more than 34 million Americans who have diabetes, 90-95% of them have Type 2 diabetes, which is becoming more prevalent among all age groups despite mainly impacting people over 45.

Unfortunately,  this number pales in comparison to the number of people suffering from prediabetes. According to the CDC, approximately 88 million Americans have prediabetes, a condition that often leads to a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

Do you think you may have prediabetes or have you been diagnosed with prediabetes? Our experts at Apex Medical Professionals can help. Walid Elkhalili, MD, and the rest of our team will work with you to create a custom prediabetes treatment plan and give you the tools to prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes. Dr. Elkhalili places a high priority on preventive care, wellness strategies, and health education.

Prediabetes is certainly frightening, but it doesn’t mean you’ll become a diabetic. With proper steps, you can prevent or significantly delay diabetes and other serious health problems. At Apex Medical Professionals, we put together this blog as a guide for what you can do to protect your health and stop prediabetes in its tracks.

On diabetes

To start, it may be helpful to define and explain Type 2 diabetes. Your pancreas makes a hormone called insulin that helps blood sugar reach your cells. When you have Type 2 diabetes, your cells don’t respond to insulin as well; for this reason, Type 2 diabetes is also known as insulin-resistance. 

Your pancreas tries to make more insulin to help your cells, but eventually the load becomes too much and you become diabetic.

What is prediabetes?

Prediabetes is a condition in which your blood sugar is higher than normal, but not to the point that you have Type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, prediabetes is mostly asymptomatic, although some people may develop darkened skin around their neck, armpits, elbows, knees, and knuckles. Other possible symptoms include:

African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders are at higher risk of developing prediabetes.

Preventing prediabetes

People who have prediabetes are at a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Luckily, there are ways to prevent prediabetes from becoming Type 2 diabetes.

Lose weight

While easier said than done, losing weight is a key part of reducing your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Losing just 5-10% of your total weight (14-20 pounds for a 200-pound person) can significantly lower your risk and help you defeat prediabetes.

Exercise

Losing weight is easier with exercise. Aim for 150 minutes of exercise per week, which is about 30 minutes five days a week. If you can’t do 30 minutes at the start, work up to this goal. Exercise is extra helpful because your body needs less insulin to transport blood sugar when you’re active.

Eat better

A healthy, reduced-calorie eating plan can also help you drop the pounds. A better diet helps you control your blood glucose level by keeping it in a healthy, normal range.

Stop smoking

Add diabetes to the long list of reasons to significantly diminish and eventually end your smoking habit. The 2014 Surgeon General’s Report found that smokers are at a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Your risk rises with the number of cigarettes you smoke per day.

Metformin

This medication is the only one endorsed by the American Diabetes Association to prevent Type 2 diabetes. It’s typically recommended for people with prediabetes who are at a very high risk of developing full-blown diabetes.

Don’t wait for prediabetes to become Type 2 diabetes. At Apex Medical Professionals we work with you to manage this disease and improve your health and well-being. Call or request an appointment at our Fair Lawn, New Jersey, office today.

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