The Holidays are upon us! Diet and exercise this time of year tend to go out the window and a lot of sugary sweets are everywhere.
Prediabetes is not actually diabetes, it is the condition where your blood sugar level is high than normal but not high enough to be considered diabetic. Unless someone with prediabetes makes some lifestyle changes, chances are the condition will progress to Diabetes Type 2.
Someone with prediabetes generally has no signs or symptoms and the condition is diagnosed with a blood test. The risk factors for developing Diabetes Type 2 are the same risk factors for developing prediabetes:
- Large waist size (risk for diabetes increases in men with waists larger than 40 inches and waists larger than 35 inches in women.
- Sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise
- Poor diet; high intake of sugar sweetened foods and beverages
- Age greater than 45
- Family history of diabetes
The good news is prediabetes is curable. If you modify your diet, exercise, lose weight, get a good night’s sleep and control your blood pressure, you can bring your blood sugar levels back down to the normal range. Prediabetes is a warning sign that if you don’t make some changes in your life, you will progress to developing Type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 vs Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes Type 1 usually develops in childhood. It is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the cells that produce insulin. Insulin is needed to control the sugar in the blood stream. Since Type 1 diabetics don’t produce insulin, they will have to take insulin for treatment. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented.
Diabetes Type 2 usually develops in adulthood. Insulin is being produced but the body is insulin resistant and thus cannot drive blood sugar out of the blood stream effectively. Medical treatment for type 2 diabetes can be in oral form (pills) or injectable insulin. Unlike Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes can be prevented and be reversed. The risk factors for developing Diabetes Type 2 are the same for developing prediabetes. Nutritional management, regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are keys to controlling and even preventing Type 2 Diabetes.