Rehab Select Blog

Pre-Diabetes? How To Reduce Your Risk Of A Diabetes Diagnosis

Posted by Chris Schmidt

Feb 6, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Pre_Diabetes_How_To_Reduce_Your_Risk_Of_A_Diabetes_DiagnosisIf you have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, you are at very high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. It's time to get very serious about diabetes prevention – and yes, it can still be prevented, or at the very least, delayed. Your doctor will have plenty of suggestions on lowering your risk of diabetes, but in the meantime, here are some lifestyle changes that can help.

  • Get yourself moving – Regular exercise is an essential part of any diabetes prevention plan. Regular exercise helps lower blood sugar, increase insulin sensitivity, decrease blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels and control or decrease body weight. If you have been pretty sedentary up until now, checking with your doctor before starting a new exercise plan is wise, and you should start out slowly, perhaps exercising for short, 10 minute intervals at first, they stepping it up a bit every week until you've worked up to at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day.

  • Lose weight – Lowering your weight by just 5 to 7 percent can make a big difference in your risk of diabetes, reducing it by more than half. For a person that weighs 200 pounds, that's just 10 to 14 pounds to take off, and that effort yields great returns in terms of diabetes prevention.

  • Improve your diet – Avoid processed foods that are loaded with salt, fat and sugar. Replace them with a generous supply of fruits and vegetables, plenty of high-fiber foods, low-fat dairy products, lean proteins and whole grains, such as brown rice, whole wheat breads and whole grain cereals. Finally, set the sodas aside – both diet and regular ones are terrible for your blood sugar – and drink plenty of water instead.

  • Sleep well – Your body regulates blood sugar – and everything else, for that matter – better when you are getting plenty of regular, restful sleep. That's because your body is busy repairing cells, making hormones and cleaning out waste products, among other important tasks, as you sleep. Getting too little sleep disturbs those vital processes and has been shown to increase risk of diabetes.

  • Get support – A good diabetes prevention program can be an invaluable tool in helping you lower risk of that pre-diabetes turning into diabetes. These groups offer professional support, help and advice as you work towards better health, as well as support from others who are facing the same sort of challenges and changes that you are – factors that have been shown to improve diabetes prevention results.

As you make all these changes, be sure that you are seeing your doctor often. You will need to be monitored quite closely to be sure that any changes in your blood sugar or health status are caught and dealt with early. Besides, having appointments every 3 to 6 months can help you keep motivated too, making you feel more accountable in following through on those lifestyle changes you need to make to prevent diabetes.

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Topics: Diabetes Management