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Prediabetes describes higher-than-normal blood sugar or glucose, but not high enough to be Type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes puts you at risk for Type 2 diabetes and other serious conditions such as heart disease and stroke.
Prediabetes often has no symptoms, so screening by your primary care provider is the best way to spot this condition.
Your provider will draw a blood sample to measure the amount of glucose in the blood. Often, an average over three months is established to diagnose prediabetes. The test is called hemoglobin A1C. A reading above the normal range but not yet in the range of diabetes results in a prediabetes diagnosis.
For example, a glucose test taken when you haven’t eaten would be normal with a reading of below 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Prediabetes is the diagnosis for someone with a reading of 100 mg/dL to 125 mg/dL. A result higher than 125 mc/dL would suggest a diabetes diagnosis. Hemoglobin A1C, measured as a percentage, also can signal prediabetes. Hemoglobin A1C of between 5.7% and 6.4% suggests prediabetes.
Reversing prediabetes starts with increasing your weekly physical activity, fiber intake and improving overall health with good sleep habits and mental health care. Weight loss can occur for some when these changes are made consistently. While it is important to implement these changes, many small adjustments over time are needed to reverse prediabetes.
While there is no prescribed “prediabetes diet,” there are certain guidelines. For example, eating too many carbohydrates at once — especially of the refined and processed varieties — will cause your blood sugar to spike. Vegetables, beans and whole grains are carbohydrates that are less likely to spike blood sugar after meals because they take longer to digest. Eating more calories than your body needs can make insulin resistance worse. Incorporate protein from lean meats, poultry, fish and legumes. Avoid sugary beverages, and instead drink lots of water.
The Norton Healthcare prediabetes on-demand video series is an online, self-driven, educational program designed to support you in reversing prediabetes. Videos may be viewed on your own time. You will receive a link in your email within 24 hours after registration.
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