Millions of people across the world are having diabetes and each day there is growth in numbers. Diabetes is caused by several factors like heredity, stress, unhealthy lifestyle and lack/reduction of insulin secretion.
Diabetes is a chronic disorder having its consequences on many vital organs of your body like heart, kidney and liver. Prediabetes is a stage that warns you about getting diabetes. If you are sure to make changes in your lifestyle during prediabetes you are less likely to develop diabetes in future.
You Are Likely To Get Prediabetes If You Have Any Of The Following Signs
- People belonging to certain ethnic background like Asian, African and Hispanic origin and those with parents having diabetes.
- People who are overweight and obese and those with high blood pressure and cholesterol.
- People showing symptoms of excessive urination, increased thirst and unexplained tiredness.
- People who are above 45 years.
- People who do not get quality sleep (7-8 hours) regularly.
- People who develop skin problems like dark patches in the armpits, neck region and knees.
The above symptoms are given only for reference purpose and many people can develop prediabetes without any symptoms. You can easily diagnose diabetes by taking simple blood glucose test. Prediabetes is a stage before diabetes wherein the blood sugar level is slightly higher than normal. You can prevent diabetes at this stage by following healthy diet plan and doing some exercises regularly. Shed some pounds and eat healthy foods and be physically active so that you can bring the blood sugar level to normal.
Ways To Prevent Diabetes and Prediabetes
1. Check Your Blood Glucose
To begin with, you should know where you stand. To diagnose diabetes two tests are used generally. Fasting glucose test is done on empty stomach in the morning. You are not supposed to eat/drink anything before giving your blood sample. Normal blood sugar level reading is below 100 mg/dL and you are diagnosed to have prediabetes if the reading is anywhere from 100-125 mg/dL and diabetes if the blood glucose level is above 125 mg/dL.
Another test for detecting diabetes is glucose tolerance test or GTT in which fasting blood sample is taken from the patient following which he/she is given 75 ml of sugar drink. Blood sample is taken again after two hours and both the readings are compared. People with 140-200 mg/dL are diagnosed to have prediabetes and those with blood glucose level above 200 mg/dL are considered to have diabetes.
2. Lose Weight
If you are overweight or obese you need to shed excess of pounds. Anything above BMI of 25 is dangerous and overweight and people who are in that range are highly prone to diabetes. You can reduce your weight by choosing to eat healthy diet. Eat better and lose weight. Choose only healthy foods that include fresh vegetables and fruits, lean meat, high protein and high fiber foods.
You can consult a dietician to devise customized diet plan that suits your lifestyle. Include variety of foods in your daily meal plan so that you are getting essential nutrients. Eat small frequent meals instead of full course 3 times of meal. Stick on to healthy snacks like apple or similar fruit instead of fried items.
3. Reduce Stress
People who are in medium to high stress level constantly have increased chance for Type 2 diabetes. Psychological stress is harmful to your metabolism and it can suppress the normal functions of immune system. The normal insulin secretion may go down due to stress hormone making you prone to diabetes. Further stress can trigger your appetite level considerably leading you to eat anything you like. Practice stress buster techniques like yoga and meditation. You can listen to calming music to overcome the stress.
4. Increase Activity Level
Sedentary lifestyle has become a major cause for diabetes and prediabetes. With high level of comfort living people tend to become lazy spending hours together in front of television or internet. To prevent prediabetes, you need to increase physical activity.
Go for regular walking or join the gym nearby. You can manage your weight by doing regular exercise. The American Diabetic Association suggests at least 30 minutes of intense/moderate exercise daily. You can also get involved in strength training or weight training exercises twice or thrice a week. Make it a habit to do exercise to get the long-term benefit of avoiding diabetes.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep at least 7 hours a day. Due to changing lifestyle it has become common to sacrifice sleep for many people. Getting quality sleep is necessary for keeping the metabolic activities in place. You are likely to develop stress if you are not sleeping well the previous day. Stress can trigger hunger drive making you to eat more which can increase your weight. This is a cyclical action and hence you can make it a point to get enough sleep. You can check with your doctor if you are not getting sleep since it can be due to anxiety disorder.
Statistics states that more than 85 million Americans have either diabetes or prediabetes. This means roughly 1/3rd of adult population is prone to diabetes. You may not even know that you are in prediabetic stage and if you are not going to change your lifestyle you are at risk of diabetes and related problems. Take decision today and make little changes to your life to prevent diabetes and prediabetes.