Over one-third of adult Americans have a condition called prediabetes, a period of elevated blood sugar levels that typically precedes Type 2 diabetes. As many as 90% of those affected have no idea that anything is wrong. It’s easy to understand why, since there are often few symptoms until the situation becomes more advanced.
Fortunately, prediabetes doesn’t have to become a progressive condition. Lifestyle changes, even fairly modest efforts, and medications can reduce blood sugar levels, easing your body’s resistance to the effects of the hormone insulin, the reason why Type 2 diabetes develops.
Awareness is key
Since prediabetes can have few symptoms, testing is the only way to know your blood sugar levels. If you don’t know what your numbers are — meaning, your A1C, fasting blood sugar, and oral glucose tolerance — you can’t know if you’re at risk of developing diabetes.
You can test at home and through lab tests to measure these blood sugar conditions. Visiting Dr. Rakesh Chugh and his team in Tinley Park, Illinois, can help you understand your numbers, as well as how your lifestyle can affect them.
Know the symptoms to look for
Prediabetes can make you thirsty increasing your urinary urgency. However, at first, it’s easy to explain away additional thirst and the additional urination that comes along with it. So you can see how tricky it may be to realize your sugar levels are elevated.
Other symptoms of prediabetes include:
Feeling hungrier than usual Weight loss, despite higher caloric intake Fatigue and sluggishness Periods of blurred vision
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, make an appointment with Dr. Chugh to see if prediabetes may be a cause.
Adopt glucose friendly lifestyle changes
Eating fresh foods, heavy on vegetables and fruits, is a solution to a wide range of health issues, and prediabetes is no different. It’s important to see these dietary improvements as an opportunity to remain healthy rather than a punishment for developing elevated blood sugar.
For example, consider a juicy filet of salmon with a side of poached asparagus and a baked sweet potato. You don’t have to eat that — you get to eat it. See the difference a shift if mindset can make?
Similarly, increased physical activity doesn’t need to mean long hours at the gym. Regular exercise, even something as simple and easy as walking for 30 minutes each day, can help you manage your weight, blood sugar, and blood pressure, not to mention give you increased energy, a better mood, and sounder sleep.
Better eating and increased activity will help you lose weight naturally. This is important because extra fat cells can affect how your body responds to insulin, which influences your risk for diabetes. In fact, losing just 5-10% of your body weight can significantly decrease your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Limit your stress
The effects of chronic stress can potentially alter the way your body produces and responds to insulin. Additionally, stress may trigger cravings and appetite, which can lead to sugary and refined foods that aren’t good for controlling prediabetes.
To tame stress, try activities like yoga (also a good form of mild exercise), meditation, journaling, and spending time enjoying nature.
Assistance from medications
Dr. Chugh may prescribe one or more medications to help your body keep blood sugar levels stable. But the good news is, being diagnosed with prediabetes doesn’t mean you’ll need insulin injections. In fact, that’s not even a treatment until Type 2 diabetes becomes advanced.
Working with Dr. Chugh and his team is a key part of prediabetes management, a condition that you can control with lifestyle changes and regular medical care. Call the office or use the convenient online tool to schedule your appointment today.