Being diagnosed with pre-diabetes is a wake-up call. It is a warning sign that your blood sugar levels are higher than normal and that you’re at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, the good news is that by taking proactive steps, you can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.
Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to managing pre-diabetes. Take the time to understand what pre-diabetes means, how it affects your body, and the lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk. Learn about healthy eating habits, physical activity, and the importance of maintaining a healthy weight. Consult with healthcare providers, attend educational workshops, and use reliable sources to gather information.
Embrace a healthy lifestyle
Making positive changes to your lifestyle is crucial in managing prediabetes. Adopting healthy habits can improve your blood sugar levels and overall well-being. Focus on the following key aspects:
- Balanced Diet - Choose a well-rounded diet that includes whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. Limit sugary foods and drinks, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates.
- Regular exercise - Engage in physical activity for at least 30 minutes per day, 5 times per week. Mix it up with aerobics, strength training, and flexibility movements. Start a routine with activities you enjoy and make them habits.
- Weight management - Aim for a healthy weight by losing excess pounds through a combination of diet and exercise. Even modest weight loss can have a significant impact on reducing the risk of developing diabetes.
- Stress management: Stress is detrimental to both mental and physical health. It can indirectly cause your body to store fat instead of burning it. Stress can also interrupt your daily routine, leading to missed meals, decreased exercise, or lack of sleep. Try to stay positive, and think about the good in developing these new goals. Prioritize self-care, being available for activities that promote relaxation and emotional well-being.
Stay on top of your health by monitoring your blood sugar levels regularly. Keep a record of readings and share them with your healthcare team. Regular check-ups and tests will help assess your progress and guide your treatment plan. No need to go to your doctor for self-ordered check-ups and tests. You can go wherever point-of-care services are available, and remember to keep good records. The following tests are great tools for taking charge of your pre-diabetes diagnosis:
- A1C test - This blood test measures average blood sugar levels over the past two to three months. It helps assess the risk of developing diabetes and helps to monitor how well pre-diabetes is being managed.
- Oral glucose tolerance test - This test involves drinking a glucose solution, followed by blood sugar level measurements at regular intervals. It assesses how the body processes glucose over time.
- Regular blood glucose monitoring – This self-monitoring method requires the use of a glucometer to track blood glucose fluctuations throughout the day.
In addition to these tests, your healthcare provider may evaluate other risk factors, such as family history, body weight, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and eye exams to include dry eye tests.
Building a support system can be immensely helpful during your pre-diabetes journey. Connect with friends, family, and support groups (in person or online) who will understand your efforts and encourage you. Motivation can make a significant difference.
A pre-diabetes diagnosis is an opportunity to take control of your health and make positive changes that can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. Be proactive by educating yourself, embracing a healthy lifestyle, monitoring your progress, and seeking support. Before you know it, small steps will have led to bigger steps and improvements.
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