Small steps can make a big difference in preventing diabetes

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(NAPSI) – Prediabetes is a serious medical condition that, if left untreated, can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. The good news, though, is that with a few healthy lifestyle changes, you can manage or even reverse your prediabetes and reduce the chances of it developing into type 2 diabetes.

Prediabetes affects about 88 million adults in the U.S. and occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is higher than what is considered normal and recommended for you, but not high enough to be able to diagnose type 2 diabetes. Most people with prediabetes are not aware that they have it, and there are usually no symptoms. People with risk factors for prediabetes include people who are overweight or obese, are 45 years of age or older, have a parent or sibling with diabetes, or are from a particular racial and ethnic background.

“It is important for people with risk factors for prediabetes to learn whether they have this condition,” says NIDDK director Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers. “Even small steps to improve your health and control prediabetes can significantly reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.”

Fortunately, some healthy lifestyle changes can help people with prediabetes improve their health and prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes. Here are some actions you can take:

• Ask your doctor for a blood glucose test to find out if you have prediabetes. If you are overweight or obese and have one or more other risk factors for diabetes, you should be tested for prediabetes.

• If you want to lose weight, try to focus on losing a small amount of weight. The NIDDK Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) has found that people who have worked on lifestyle changes for weight loss, including increased physical activity and a healthy diet, could drastically reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes. DPP results have helped the CDC build a national diabetes prevention program (www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention), a lifestyle program for people at risk for type 2 diabetes, available at locations across the country.

• Get more physically active with short daily walks. Or try engaging in fun hobbies and activities such as dancing, playing with family or friends, or cycling.

• Try to spend less time sitting and watching TV, playing video games or using social networks.

• Swap sweet snacks for healthy fruits, vegetables or nuts. Or try substituting white bread and white rice for high-fiber options like whole grain bread and brown rice.

• Use the food and drink diary or smartphone app to keep track of what you eat and drink. It can help you notice when you are overeating or eating foods high in calories or high in calories.

• If you smoke, try to quit. Talk to your doctor or visit https://smokefree.gov/ for tools and tips on how to become tobacco-free.

• Try to sleep at least 7 hours every night.

• Take other steps to stay healthy. For example, obtaining a COVID-19 vaccine (and a booster vaccine if appropriate) and a flu vaccine is very important, especially for people who are more likely to get COVID-19, such as older adults and people. who already have diabetes. , obesity or heart disease that are chronic conditions.

You don’t have to make all of these changes at once. Every step you can take to become healthier is a step in the right direction. And don’t be afraid to ask your doctor or loved one for support. You are not alone on this journey.

To learn more about prediabetes and diabetes, visit the NIDDK website at www.niddk.nih.gov.

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