I’ve been told I have prediabetes. Now what should I do?
Prediabetes is a condition of above normal blood glucose levels that are not yet high enough to be considered diabetic. Prediabetes is a significant risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. Elevated blood glucose levels, even below levels considered diabetic, can cause damage. Complications of diabetes are devastating. Patients with uncontrolled diabetes have two to four times greater risk for heart attack and also have increased risk for stroke, and peripheral arterial disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower-limb amputations, and new cases of blindness among adults in the United States.”
Fortunately, type 2 diabetes can be prevented to a very great extent by lifestyle changes – maintaining a healthy body weight, limiting carbohydrates, and getting regular exercise. There is no cure for diabetes, although bariatric weight loss surgery has shown to have an immediate and significant effect on lowering blood sugar. Diabetes can also be controlled with lifestyle changes and medication. Diabetes is very controllable but it needs to be treated early and treated aggressively before complications develop. Knowing you are prediabetic gives you an excellent opportunity to make the necessary lifestyle changes to prevent type 2 diabetes and the complications that often develop.