We hear the term “prediabetes” everywhere. Your doctor might even have said that you fall in this classification. But what does this mean exactly? Are you destined to become diabetic or is this reversible?
Prediabetes means that your blood sugar is higher than normal. But it’s not high enough to diagnose type 2 diabetes. You might be surprised to learn that nearly 80 million Americans are in this classification. Ongoing research shows that, without intervention, the likelihood is great that prediabetes will develop into diabetes within 2 to 10 years.
The good news is that lowering your blood sugar can dramatically impact your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. We know that medications can definitely lower your blood sugar. Still it’s important not to jump to that step before you’ve made some easy lifestyle changes. I say “easy,” because a modest – not heroic – effort in lifestyle change over time can have a big payoff. Your payoff includes a lower, more stable blood sugar. Here are the two top lifestyle tips for lowering blood sugar:
1. Aim for modest weight loss: drop 5% to 10% of your present body weight. For a person weighing 180 pounds, that’s 9 to 18 pounds. While that doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s enough to markedly impact your fasting blood sugar.
2. Aim for regular moderate activity: take a brisk walk for 30 minutes at least five times a week. Whether you’re walking, cleaning the house, or working in the yard, the key word is moderate activity. Brisk means you can talk comfortably during your activity without becoming breathless.
Good health is a partnership with your doctor. When you optimize your overall health with positive lifestyle changes, your doctor’s medical care can be more impactful. If medication is ultimately necessary to keep your blood sugar in a healthy range, a healthy lifestyle can help to keep the dosage and number of medications to a minimum.