If you are one of 57 million Americans who have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, you are probably in a state of panic. You must have heard horror stories about serious complications of diabetes ” “ heart attack, blindness, stroke, kidney failure and so many others. But, being diagnosed with pre-diabetes is actually good news. Pre-diabetes is not diabetes and you can stop it from developing.
Most people live their lives for years with slightly elevated blood sugar without having any symptoms. They do not know that they have pre-diabetes, that the glucose is slowly accumulating in their blood and that they have serious chances of developing Type II diabetes. But, if you are lucky enough to learn in time that your blood glucose is elevated, there is a lot you can do to stop the development of the disease and actually reverse the damage already caused in your body. But, you have to do the work and to make some tough choices.
Preventing Type II diabetes
Although there are some high risk factors and ethnic groups, we are now aware that Type II diabetes is mostly caused by our lifestyle choices. Most people who have diabetes are obese. The first step is to lose five to ten percents of your body weight. Your doctor and dietitian will recommend low carbohydrate and low sodium diet and will give you a list of foods you should and should not eat. They will also tell you that regular exercise is now not an option but a must. Healthy diet and exercise might be all you need to keep your blood glucose in check. Regular blood tests will show you if you are on the right path, or if more radical measures are required, such as medications.
Who is at risk of developing pre-diabetes?
If you are obese, over 45 years old, have sedentary lifestyle, have diabetes in your family, or belong to one of the high-risk ethnic groups (African American, Asian, Hispanic, American Indian, Pacific Islander), your chances of developing pre-diabetes and ultimately diabetes are 15 percents higher than other people. It is very possible that you will not have any symptoms until it is too late. If you belong to one of the high-risk groups, check your blood sugar regularly, at least once a year.
If you start feeling constant thirst, have to urinate frequently, your vision is blurred, you are always tired, you have wounds that will not feel or feel tingling in your fingers and toes, go see your doctor right away. These are symptoms of the fully blown Type II diabetes.