Diabetes is a scary, life-changing diagnosis that affects people all around the world, but one disease that’s lesser known and equally as alarming is prediabetes. This essentially means that your blood glucose levels are abnormally high, though not yet high enough to be considered diabetic.
Recent studies have shown that one-half of the U.S. population suffers from either diabetes or prediabetes, and it’s estimated that 86 million Americans older than the age of 20 are prediabetic. In California alone, a recent UCLA study found that 55 percent of adults in the state have either diabetes of prediabetes. It is almost always prominent in people who are later diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Signs of Prediabetes
A prediabetes diagnosis shows symptoms like fatigue, frequent urination and blurred vision. An alarming fact regarding this culprit is that most people with it are completely unaware that they have it — a staggering 90 percent, in fact. Because of this, it often goes untreated and ultimately leads to type 2 diabetes. It can only be detected through blood tests.
Sadly, most physicians reportedly miss the opportunity to treat those with prediabetes before it develops into full-blown diabetes because of how hard it is to detect.
It’s important to make diet and lifestyle changes in order to avoid developing type 2 diabetes, which typically occurs within 10 years of a prediabetes diagnosis. However, prediabetes won’t always lead to type 2 diabetes if you change your diet and some very simple daily habits. Because of how difficult it is to detect, always maintaining a healthy lifestyle is imperative.
Identify your risk for diabetes early on, be aware of any symptoms that occur and implement necessary changes to lessen the risk for both pre-diabetes and diabetes. It might seem daunting to make lifestyle and dietary changes, but there are little things than can be done to improve the chances of preventing both diagnoses.
Eating more fiber can improve the health and growth of the healthy microbes in your gut, which in turn helps control blood sugar. Good sources of fiber include kale, beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Another surprising factor that can put you at risk for prediabetes is lack of sleep. Research has shown that late nights can lead to a higher body mass index, a greater risk of metabolic syndrome and more stomach fat. Sleep on a normal night’s schedule and don’t go to bed too late, and you’ll help your chances immensely of avoiding a diagnosis.
Surprisingly enough, the temperature of your surroundings can also play a role prediabetes prevention. Being cold activates your brown fat, which is excellent at burning both calories and glucose. The best way to utilize brown fat for burning glucose and calories is to exercise in a cool environment.
Prediabetes might seem terrifying because of how common it is and how hard it is to detect, but making little changes in your eating habits and physical activity, and treating it accordingly upon first signs of any symptoms will go a long way towards preventing it from turning into full-blown type 2 diabetes and reversing the diagnosis. Staying aware, making a choice has helped hundreds of people from diabetes later on in their lifetime. It’s never too late, get started today!