With cases of diabetes at an all-time high in the United States, it’s important to do everything you can to keep your family healthy. Learn more about diabetes prevention and how to stop prediabetes in its tracks with these five helpful tips. You can also attend Renown’s free lecture April 26 for more information.
Those with prediabetes are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes in 10 years or less, according to the Mayo Clinic. The good news: There are ways to manage — and even reverse — prediabetes. Renown’s Certified Diabetes Educator Stephen Compston, RD, LD, CDE, shares five steps for managing blood sugar and avoiding an eventual diabetes diagnosis.
- Eat healthy foods. Plan meals that limit (not eliminate) foods that contain carbohydrates, which raise your blood sugar. Carbohydrates include starches, fruits, milk, yogurt, starchy vegetables (corn, peas, potatoes) and sweets. “Substitute more non-starchy vegetables into your meals to stay satisfied for fewer carbohydrates and calories,” Compston says.
- Exercise. Blood sugar is the body’s basic energy source. When you exercise, you are lowering your blood sugar. “People with prediabetes usually want to stay off of medication, so they must add something to their normal regimen that lowers blood sugar,” Compston says. “In this case, exercise is medicine.”
- Lose weight. A small decrease in your weight can drastically decrease your risk of developing diabetes in the future. The Diabetes Prevention Program study showed that a 7 percent decrease in body weight (14 pounds for a 200 pound person) can reduce a person’s risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent.
- Get more rest. Studies link sleep issues to an increased risk of insulin resistance. It can also make it harder to lose weight. Thus, people that don’t get adequate sleep are at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
- See your doctor regularly. Schedule an appointment with your primary care provider at least once a year so you can track your health together. “A regular check-up and lab work can help identify what your blood sugars are doing so you and your doctor can develop a good plan for delaying the onset of diabetes,” Compston says.
For more information about how diet, exercise and medication can prevent or manage diabetes, sign up for our free Diabetes Lecture hosted by certified diabetes educators April 26. Reserve your space online.