If I Have Prediabetes, Can I Avoid Developing Diabetes?

For more information on the treatment of diabetes, get my guide here

I am very happy to announce that the answer to this question is a resounding YES!

Especially is your diagnosis is early.

However, you must, and I must emphasize, MUST make some dramatic lifestyle changes in order to do so.

I've made a couple of videos about these lifestyle changes, but I certainly do not mind doing another one if it can help you develop Type 2.

How is prediabetes treated?

There is increasing evidence that if pre-diabetes (glucose intolerance) is treated, progression to diabetes can be prevented. In addition, it is possible to prevent the development of cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, it is important to know if you have prediabetes and treat it to reduce your risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Suggested treatments include changes in lifestyle and medication treatments.

It is also very important to have a regular blood test to check your blood sugar (glucose) again if you develop diabetes. The frequency of the blood test may vary, but you should discuss this with your doctor. In general, a blood glucose test is recommended at least once a year.

Changes in lifestyle

It has been discovered that changes in lifestyle are the most effective way to prevent prediabetes from becoming diabetes. Losing weight if you are overweight and increasing your physical activity levels can help reduce insulin resistance and, therefore, make the insulin that is produced more effective in controlling your blood glucose levels.

If you have prediabetes, you should:

Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Your practice nurse and / or dietitian will give details on how to eat a healthy diet. The diet is the same recommended for everyone. The idea that you need special foods if you have prediabetes or diabetes is a myth. Basically, it should point to a diet low in fat, high in fiber and with many starches, fruits and vegetables. See the separate booklet called Healthy Eating.

Lose weight if you are overweight. Reaching a perfect weight is not realistic for many people. However, if you are overweight or obese, losing a little weight will help reduce your blood glucose level (and will also have other health benefits). See the separate booklet called Weight Reduction – How to lose weight.

Do some physical activity regularly. If you can, a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity is recommended at least five times per week. For example, walking, swimming, riding a bicycle, jogging, dancing. Ideally, you should perform an activity that leaves you slightly breathless and slightly sweaty. You can distribute the activity during the day. (For example, two 15-minute periods of fast walking, biking, dancing, etc. per day). Regular physical activity also reduces the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Always check with your doctor if it is safe to start exercising if you have been inactive for a prolonged period.

There are also other lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. These include:

Stop smoking if you are a smoker.

Making sure that you stick to the recommended alcohol intake. See separate booklet called Alcohol Recommended Safety Limits for more details.

Also, make sure your blood pressure stays within the normal range. Monitor your blood pressure regularly with your practice nurse.

Also, talk to your doctor or practice nurse if you need a cholesterol test and / or treatment to lower your cholesterol level.

Treatments with medicines

Several medical trials have analyzed the use of various drug treatments for people with pre-diabetes to see if they can help prevent diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Medications that have been tried include metformin, acarbose, a group of drugs called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and another group of drugs called angiotensin II receptor blockers.

Changes in lifestyle (as indicated above) are most important if you discover that you have prediabetes. However, the National Institute of Excellence in Health and Care (NICE) has recommended that metformin be used if a lifestyle change program is not successful or is not possible due to a disability or medical reasons. A medication called orlistat may also be recommended to help lose weight and, therefore, reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

What follow-up is needed if you have prediabetes?

If it is determined that you have prediabetes (impaired glucose tolerance), it is important that your doctor follow up regularly. Usually, this will mean a blood test to check your fasting blood glucose (glucose) level at least once a year. This is to make sure you have not developed diabetes …

Video credits to Diabetes Healthy Living Channel YouTube channel

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    If I Have Prediabetes, Can I Avoid Developing Diabetes?

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