In the US, 1 in 7 adults have diabetes and 1 in 3 have prediabetes (CDC). This puts you at higher risk of heart disease, stroke, and other serious complications like kidney failure, blindness, and amputation of a toe, foot, or leg. The good news is, type 2 diabetes is preventable. With the help of our Population Health Team, we put together this information and tips on how you can reverse prediabetes and take a journey toward better health.
What is prediabetes?
Prediabetes is a serious health condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal, yet not high enough to be called type 2 diabetes. If you have prediabetes, you may not have any noticeable symptoms yet, but your body is already working hard to process the excess sugar in your blood. Also called glucose, blood sugar becomes the energy that fuels your body so that you can be active and healthy. When you have higher levels of glucose in your blood than is needed to fuel your body, over time, it can damage your heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes, and kidneys.
If you already know you have prediabetes, you might have been diagnosed with “insulin resistance.” The hormone insulin helps control the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood. When you have insulin resistance, your body’s cells don’t respond normally to insulin, so glucose can’t enter the cells as easily. This leads to higher glucose levels in your blood, which eventually can lead to type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance typically has no symptoms. Weight loss and exercise can also help reverse insulin resistance.
If you want to know your risk of prediabetes, take this risk assessment quiz.
How can you prevent prediabetes?
You can prevent the cycle of rising blood sugar in your body in four ways:
- Eat nutritious foods, such as vegetables as lean meat and plant proteins and less processed foods with added sugars, that keep your blood sugar in a healthy range
- Be physically active to use the energy in your body and lose extra weight
- Stop smoking as it can increase your cells resistance to insulin
- Reduce stress
All four ways can work together: Eating a healthier diet makes it easier to be more active. Exercising helps reduce stress. Reducing stress helps to stop smoking. And you’ll feel better with every step you take. Making small changes can make a big difference in your health. Take these four steps to reverse prediabetes — and prevent type 2 diabetes altogether.
What resources are there available to help you in Monterey County?
Monterey County is full of ways to stay healthy and reverse prediabetes and prevent type 2 diabetes. Aspire Health Medicare Advantage Plan members have no-cost access to an enhanced care team including health coaches and the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). Creating healthy habits that stick can feel difficult –let our team of caring, knowledgeable health professionals show you how through convenient, one-on-one telephonic support. Our health coaches will help you set individualized health goals and provide the support and encouragement you need to reach your goals. Read more about how the DPP helped one of our members make meaningful changes in his lifestyle to reduce his risk of diabetes. You can, too. Call us today to find the next available class and to enroll in the program (831) 644-7490.