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November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Did you know 9 out of 10 people who has prediabetes don't even know they have it?

This week we have Molly Ward, RD, CDN, CDE, Whitney Young Health's Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator is giving you the facts on prediabetes and what you can do to prevent it. 

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What is Prediabetes?

Have you been told you have prediabetes or have you heard about it? If you haven't, don't be surprised if you start hearing more about it because 1 in 3 people have prediabetes today. Let’s talk about what prediabetes is and what you can do to improve your health.

Prediabetes means that a person’s blood sugars are elevated above normal and that they are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Identifying prediabetes is the first step in preventing type 2 diabetes.

How is prediabetes identified?

A1C blood test between 5.7-6.4%

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What is the treatment for prediabetes?

If you are not at your most healthy weight for your height and age, weight loss is recommended. Lifestyle change is what can help you get to your most healthy weight. Diet, exercise, stress management and adequate sleep are key players in building a healthier lifestyle. Sitting down and making a plan should be your first step in making lifestyle changes. Making specific, measureable, attainable, realistic and timely goals will help you succeed in your goals. If you are at a healthy weight this does not necessarily mean that you won’t need to change your diet and start exercising.

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What Diet Changes do I Need to Make?

Cut out junk food such as sweetened beverages, chips, baked goods, candy and fried foods. Drink more water, eat 3 balanced meals/day (see week 1 article) and eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables (more veggies than fruits because fruits contain natural sugars).

Exercise, a little goes a long way and is a good place to start if you currently don’t exercise. Make a goal and try it. As exercise gets easier increase intensity or duration. Do activities that you enjoy as you are more likely to keep habits that you enjoy.

Get at least 7hrs of sleep each night; when we are tired we eat more, don’t exercise and can feel stressed. To better deal with stress take some time each day to relax. That could mean that you sit in silence to meditate, listen to music, talking with a friend or go for a walk.

Take the test here to see if you are at risk. You are in control of your health and knowledge is power!

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For more information please follow the links below or call Whitney Young Health Center for an appointment with Molly Ward, RD, CDE or Kelsey Munn, RD, CLC today!

https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/prediabetes.html

http://www.joslin.org/info/what_is_pre_diabetes.html

http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diagnosis/

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