By Nadia Al-Samarrie
Pre-diabetes is a condition that can develop into type 2 diabetes. It is a different diagnosis than type 1 diabetes. For the sake of this conversation- we are strictly talking about pre-diabetes that can lead to a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
Did you know that more people have pre-diabetes than people who have diabetes?
The CDC- Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports: 34.2 million people have diabetes, while 88 million people have pre-diabetes. The number is staggering. It means that 34.5% of the population in the United States has diabetes.
Myth 1: You Get Diabetes from Overeating Sugar
You don’t get diabetes from overeating sugar. But you can get diagnosed with diabetes from the excess weight the sugar may cause. It is important to note that thin people can also get diagnosed with pre-diabetes. It’s not only an excess weight issue. It’s more about how efficiently your body uses the insulin it produces. When your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes, you have pre-diabetes.
A pre-diabetes Hemoglobin A1C falls between 5.7 mg/dL and 6.4 mg/dL, with an average blood sugar reading between 117 mg/dL to 137 mg/dL for the last 90 days. Your new A1C target goal needs to be below 5.7mg/dL, a 117 blood sugar reading.
Myth 2: You Can Cure or Reverse Diabetes
One of my greatest pet peeves is how marketers misrepresent type 2 diabetes. I have seen supplements sold with a marketing gimmick that gives you the false hope that their product cures or reverses diabetes. Think about it. If you heal or reverse diabetes, in theory, it means you no longer have diabetes. There are no known cures for diabetes as of 2020. Don’t let marketers take advantage of your vulnerability by selling you the idea of a cure with no research to back their product with from a reputable organization.
Tips On What to Do If You Have Pre-Diabetes
If you have a pre-diabetes diagnosis, this is your opportunity to reverse the diagnosis. Here are a few general recommendations:
1- Changing Your Diet
If you have pre-diabetes, then your diet can be the cause of it. I know most of us have comfort foods that we do not want to give up. Today it is easier than ever to find substitutes for your favorite foods. Giving up everything is not realistic. Finding alternatives will help you be successful.
The best exercise program is to start doing something you love regularly. I know several people that have lost 40 pounds just by hiking every day rain or shine. Anytime I am in an exercise funk, I start walking, cycling, or getting on my elliptical for 15 minutes. My most successful exercise days are when I meet up with a friend to walk or take an exercise class with. Having a buddy makes me accountable.
3- Follow Your Healthcare Professionals Advice
Your healthcare professional is an excellent source of information. They have seen patients succeed. Pick their brain, ask them which lifestyles change people with pre-diabetes have made to bring their A1C below 5.7 mg/dL.
4- Testing Blood Sugars
Test your blood sugar- so you can see how food and exercise impact your blood sugar numbers. The more you know, the better decisions you can make. You may think one food group is healthy for you, and after testing, the meter may read higher than you think. Don’t get frustrated when you see more elevated blood sugars. Instead, decide to eliminate the food or find a low glycemic substitute. If you feel deprived, it may be more challenging to maintain abstinence in the long term.
5- Sign up for The DiabetesHealth.Con Newsletter
As a trusted investigative and inspirational website, DiabetesHealth.Com is committed to helping you live a healthier, happy life. I will send you a link to our Diet and Nutrition Guide with 11 recipes from the Sugar Happy Kitchen to help you achieve your goals.
Spoiler alert- I have more recipes coming online with my favorite comfort foods to share with you.
You may experience some or none of these diabetes symptoms. If you do, call your healthcare professional to make an appointment for a blood test.
~ Unquenchable Thirst
~ Always hungry
~ Blurry vision
~ A wound that heals slowly
~ Sudden weight gain or loss