If you have prediabetes, your goal should be preventing the condition from turning into type 2 diabetes. But, how do you do that? Do you even know if you’re one of the 84 million American adults with prediabetes?
At Grassroots Healthcare in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Dr. Melita Tate and our team of holistic and internal medicine specialists make it our mission to help patients of all ages identify and manage prediabetes before it becomes a more serious health concern. If you and your family live in the greater Tulsa area or one of the many surrounding communities, there’s a chance you’re one of more than a million individuals with prediabetes in this area.
Here’s how to tell if you need to keep your blood sugar levels in check before you develop a more complex, chronic health condition.
Prediabetes is a warning sign that you need to make immediate dietary and lifestyle changes to help lower your blood sugar (glucose) levels before they reach a dangerous level and lead to type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your body doesn’t make or use the hormone insulin as effectively as it needs to. It comes in two types.
If you have type 1 diabetes, your body doesn’t produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone your pancreas makes. It takes sugar from the foods you out of your bloodstream and ensures these sugars get to your cells so your body has enough energy. If you have type 1 diabetes, your body isn’t able to do this naturally; you have to take daily injections of insulin to control your sugar levels.
With type 2 diabetes, your body resists the insulin your pancreas makes and isn’t able to process blood sugar effectively.
When you have prediabetes, your blood sugar is elevated, but not high enough to be considered diabetes. When blood sugar levels remain too high for too long, though, it becomes harmful to your body. But here’s the catch: prediabetes has few symptoms, if any. The only way to know if your blood sugar levels are too high is to have your blood tested.
Since prediabetes can develop into type 2 diabetes if left unchecked, the risk factors are the same. They include:
Additionally, if you’re a woman who had gestational diabetes when you were pregnant, or you gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds, you have a higher risk of developing prediabetes and diabetes later in life. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) also increases your risk for prediabetes.
For men, women, and children of all ages, prediabetes is also associated with having high blood pressure, low levels of HDLs — the “good” cholesterol — and high levels of triglycerides (fat) in your blood.
If you have any of the risk factors for diabetes and your blood glucose levels are elevated, there are things you can do right now to begin a prevention plan and live a healthier life. Dr. Tate takes a holistic approach to helping you lower your blood sugar levels and minimize your need for medications. She helps you get control over your blood sugar through diet and exercise.
The keys to managing your weight, blood sugar, and diet, are knowing how to make realistic, long-term lifestyle changes that make a difference over time.
You may be surprised to learn that losing a few pounds — just 5-7% of your body weight, which translates to 10-14 pounds for a 200-pound person — can significantly lower your blood sugar levels and reduce your risk of becoming a chronic diabetic by as much as 58%. Dr. Tate helps you understand which foods are best to help manage your condition, as well as how to develop healthier eating habits, so you can stop prediabetes from turning into type 2 diabetes.
Regular physical activity, like brisk walking just 30 minutes a day, does wonders for your mood, weight, and overall health. Exercise can help you stay on track for your weight-loss plan and make you want to eat healthier foods, too.
Dr. Tate and the caring team at Grassroots Healthcare support you each step of the way when you embark on a diabetes prevention plan. They can help you find the most natural approaches to managing prediabetes and other related health conditions, and reduce your dependency on medications, which often come with unwanted side effects.
Eating right and getting fit go a long way in preventing prediabetes from becoming type 2 diabetes. Are you ready to take action to live a healthier lifestyle today for all its long-term benefits?
Call or click online to schedule an appointment.