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Prediabetes has reached epidemic proportions and “What is Prediabetes” is an important question for all of us. About 35% of the adults in America have prediabetes, which means their blood sugar levels are higher than normal — higher than is healthy — and it is actively putting them at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
Prediabetes is an illness that builds over time and likely has no symptoms. This makes it easy to overlook. The CDC says 90% of those who have this health condition do not know it. Do not be fooled! You can turn this around…
To help you understand Prediabetes, here are the questions I am most often asked as a Certified Diabetes Educator. Your health questions deserve answers.
Prediabetes is a condition also known as Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) that may lead to Type 2 Diabetes if untreated. We can reverse it with changes in lifestyle. Prediabetes can appear at any age, and it may go undiagnosed for years while it silently does damage to tissues within the body.
It’s a metabolic disorder and chronic condition that causes blood sugar (glucose) levels to rise higher than normal. Risk factors include an over-weight, sedentary lifestyle, family history, ethnicity, and age. Type 2 Diabetes usually appears in older adults, but it’s becoming more common in children and teens. Type 2 is the most common form of Diabetes.
When you go to the doctor and ask “Can prediabetes be reversed?” one of the first skills they may suggest you learn is how to test your blood sugar. We teach that at Holland Health Coaching, and you can learn to do this as well in your hometown.
The second important skill for everyone with Prediabetes–as well as any other chronic illness–is to practice Reframing this illness in your mind. We teach at Holland Health Coaching that when you Change your Thoughts, you can Change your World.
Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease that damages the pancreas so that it produces little to no insulin. This creates dangerously high blood sugar (glucose) levels. Because of this, it typically first appears in children and young adults (sometimes called “Juvenile Diabetes”). Only 5% of people with Diabetes have this form of the disease. Prediabetes does NOT lead to Type 1 Diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes is a metabolic disorder and chronic condition that causes blood sugar (glucose) levels to rise higher than normal. Risk factors include an over-weight, sedentary lifestyle, family history, ethnicity, and age. It usually appears in older adults, but it’s becoming more common in children and teens. Many parents ask can prediabetes be reversed in my child’s life? Before being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, Prediabetes is developing. However, 90% of people with Prediabetes can avoid Type 2 Diabetes by embracing self-care and lifestyle changes at home.
No. In fact, 90% of people with Prediabetes can avoid Type 2 Diabetes by embracing self-care at home. That involves making lifestyle changes with trusted medical professionals and a health or wellness coach. Those who are successful at reducing their risk of Type 2 Diabetes have improved their meals and increased their activity levels.
Unlike Type 2 Diabetes, Prediabetes often has no symptoms. That’s one of the reasons why people with Prediabetes may lack a sense of urgency to make lifestyle changes. But even though the disease is invisible, it can actively cause progressive damage and take a serious toll on the body. You can find out if you have Prediabetes today using a simple form that you grade at home.
According to my friends at the American Diabetes Association, children and teens with Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes often feel no symptoms. Parents can be on the lookout for some developing symptoms of type 2 diabetes in children:
If you suspect that you have prediabetes, and fear that your children might also have this disease, I hope you will check out the Create a Wellness Plan for Your Family.
If you have a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately. For less urgent concerns, consult with your physician during an office visit. People with Prediabetes and Diabetes should have their blood sugar checked regularly to watch the disease. Be sure to discuss those results with your doctor. By doing this, you can understand any warning signs that could need immediate help. You can print out the “Starting Line” worksheet and use it to discuss diabetes with your doctor.
Whenever we eat a meal, our bodies break down the food into different sugar molecules. The main type is glucose, which is the fuel our cells need for energy. That glucose level in our blood is what people refer to as blood sugar. Perhaps you are new to the science behind carbs, glucose, and high blood sugar? It will be helpful for you to learn more about balancing blood sugar in the days and months to come.
The A1C test measures your average blood sugar level for the past 3-4 months. It measures the percentage of glucose attached to the hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying protein molecules in your red blood cells). This test for people with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes is usually performed 2-4 times per year as a guide to successfully keep track of the disease.
Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar happens when the pancreas is secreting too much insulin in response to a fast rise in blood sugar. There are several causes: a missed meal, too much exercise, or by over-eating too many “junky” foods. People suffering from hypoglycemia suddenly notice dizziness, sweating, heart palpitations, and numbness or tingling of the lips. Left untreated, hypoglycemia may even involve lapsing into a coma. Be proactive about getting medical attention.
Hyperglycemia or high blood sugar occurs when excessive amounts of glucose in the blood cause the human body to stop functioning normally. Everyone with hyperglycemia needs to understand what action to take so that their glucose/insulin balance is improved. Uncontrolled hyperglycemia is the cause of Diabetes, responsible for the onset of the disease and its complications.
Generally yes, but it depends on your coverage. Here’s something to keep in mind: to receive full reimbursement from insurance companies, doctors are required to fully document the blood sugar levels of their patients with Diabetes. Make sure you develop a strong relationship with your doctor and understand how these tests are used as a measure of your success.
Stabilizing our blood sugar is essential for our health, energy, and weight management. The key to accomplishing that is by balancing insulin, which means eating the right combination of carbs, healthy fats, and proteins.
No. The best way to fight Prediabetes is by balancing your insulin and stabilizing your blood sugar. Rather than just cutting calories, it’s more important to eat the right combination of carbs, healthy fats, and proteins.
Not necessarily. Prediabetes is often the long-term result of eating unhealthy foods and failing to get adequate exercise. Thinking of this, are you eating the right types of carbs? Healthy fats? Lean proteins? By this I mean that cutting down on sugar is certainly a step in the right direction, but fighting Prediabetes is more about making broad lifestyle changes.
It depends. Specifically, some carbs are necessary for your body to have energy, but we all could be more picky about the kind of carbs we consume. Look closely at the amounts of starch, sugar, and fiber in the carbs you like to eat. Choose wisely and combine them with healthy fats and proteins to stabilize your blood sugar. Here’s a label-reading guide for you.
No. Healthy fats are essential for our body to work properly. For example, it’s important to eat the right kinds of fat in the right amounts (they are typically high in calories), but we still need them. Research now shows that trying to lose weight with low-fat diets can have negative outcomes if people end up overloading on highly refined carbs. If you have a negative pattern of thinking about being overweight or feeling set apart because of your prediabetes, I hope you will take a moment to reframe your thinking about your amazing body!
You can actually fight Prediabetes by ditching the idea of a diet. This is to say that it’s better to stabilize your blood sugar than deprive yourself of food. That means you can stop focusing on what you CAN’T eat and start concentrating on what you NEED to eat.
When you give your body the energy it needs through slow-digesting carbs, lean proteins, and healthy fats, you’ll control your insulin [unless you have Type 1 Diabetes, in which case you’ll need to work with your doctor on supplementing insulin]. Creating a lifestyle of balanced portions of healthy food is critically important! You’ll stabilize your blood sugar. And you’ll drop excess weight without the stress of “not cheating.”
Increasing your activity level is an important part of fighting Prediabetes. It is as important as adjusting your food choices in a way that stabilizes blood sugar. To clarify, you don’t have to spend two hours every morning at the gym to make that happen. Instead, try building in more activity to the tasks you already do every day. Little changes can lead to big results.
In most cases, physicians do not prescribe medicine to control Prediabetes. Instead, they recommend making improvements in diet and exercise. However, if the disease progresses to Type 2 Diabetes, doctors typically prescribe medication and strongly urge significant lifestyle changes. If those adjustments don’t improve blood sugar levels, patients will need daily insulin shots to keep their bodies functioning properly. That is a KEY PART of the Solution Starter Program. We help you avoid the slide into Type 2 Diabetes!
Yes! As a result of embracing self-care at home, such as healthy eating and increased activity, 90% of people with Prediabetes can regain their health. By this I mean that Type 2 Diabetes does not have to happen just because you have Prediabetes! You can make lifestyle changes that transform your future. Consult with your medical professionals and consider getting guidance from a qualified health and wellness coach.
In most cases, the starting point is getting the support you need by consulting with your medical professionals. Additionally, you also have the option of getting support from a qualified health coach. With expert guidance, you can begin adjusting your diet to stabilize insulin and blood sugar. You can find the inspiration to begin increasing your activity level and reducing stress. And if you want an innovative, comprehensive way to strategically fight Prediabetes, sign up for the Solution Starter program.
In the link that follows, I’ll tell you more about the Solution Starter Prediabetes Program. You’ll enjoy a unique, online program that’s educational, interactive, and even FUN! Plus, it’s been scientifically proven to get results in the fight against Prediabetes. Designed by Certified Diabetes Educator Georgianne Holland, learn about the benefits of this program here.
CLICK THE BUTTON BELOW TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS PREDIABETES PROGRAM!