If you have prediabetes, it’s important to keep your blood sugar as close to normal as possible. You can do so by limiting the amount of refined sugar in your diet and monitoring your blood sugar levels.
In general, the American Diabetes Association recommends following these guidelines to help control your blood sugar levels:
- Eating foods that are simple, low in fat, and high in fiber
- Eating the maximum amount of carbs allowed each day
- Avoiding sugary beverages and fruit juices
If you have prediabetes and you have symptoms, you should see your doctor.
What you can do now?
If you’re diagnosed with prediabetes, your doctor may have you take a medication called metformin. This medication helps control your blood sugar by increasing the amount of insulin your pancreas makes.
However, some people may have side effects that make it difficult for the medication to work. Speak to your doctor about your options for treatment if you’re diagnosed with prediabetes.
You can also try to control your blood sugar levels by exercising more and eating more fiber-rich foods. Your doctor may also recommend changing your eating habits.
When to contact a doctor?
If you have prediabetes, you should be checked regularly by your doctor. You should also be tested for other health issues that may be leading to prediabetes. This will help your doctor find out how your body is responding to your treatment plan.
Once you’re diagnosed with prediabetes, you should make lifestyle changes to help manage your condition. You should also try to maintain a healthy weight. Your doctor may also suggest medications to treat diabetes if your blood sugar levels are too high.
If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor, or 911, immediately. A doctor will be able to give you advice on what to do.
You should avoid having any of these activities, including fasting and exercising intensely, until your doctor gives you the all-clear.
What are the complications of prediabetes?
People with prediabetes can have a wide range of health problems. These can include:
- Heart disease. Diabetes and prediabetes increase your risk of developing heart disease.
- Stroke. Diabetes and prediabetes can increase your risk of stroke.
- High blood pressure. Diabetes and prediabetes can increase your risk of high blood pressure.
- Eye problems. Diabetes and prediabetes can cause eye problems, such as glaucoma and cataracts.
- Nerve damage. Diabetes and prediabetes can damage your nerves.
- Kidney disease. Diabetes and prediabetes can damage your kidneys.
- Sleep apnea. Diabetes and prediabetes may lead to sleep apnea.
- Sleep disturbances. Diabetes and prediabetes can lead to sleep disturbances.
Tips for prevention
There are steps you can take to help prevent prediabetes and its complications. These include:
- Eating a balanced diet.
- Maintaining a moderate weight.
- Practicing regular physical activity.
- Not smoking.
- Limiting alcohol intake.
Talk to your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
- High blood pressure.
- High cholesterol.
- High blood sugar, including prediabetes.
- High triglycerides, which are a type of fat in your blood.
The best way to prevent prediabetes is to eat a healthy, balanced diet. This includes a diverse range of foods, low in saturated fat and refined sugars, and high in fiber.
You can also help prevent prediabetes by:
- Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet.
- Limiting or avoiding foods that are high in sugar, sugar substitutes, or simple carbohydrates.
- Avoiding sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda and fruit juices.
Maintaining a moderate weight
Keeping a moderate weight can help you manage prediabetes. You should aim to be at a healthy weight for your height.
Your doctor may also advise you to limit your alcohol intake to help prevent prediabetes.
Regular physical activity
Regular physical activity helps you manage your weight, which can help prevent prediabetes. Exercise improves circulation and lowers your blood pressure, which can also help prevent diabetes.
You should aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes each day. Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
Limiting alcohol intake
Alcohol can cause problems with your blood sugar levels. It may also increase your risk of heart disease.
If you drink alcohol, you should avoid or limit your intake to no more than two drinks per day for women and no more than three drinks per day for men.
Talk to your doctor or local community health center about the best way to limit alcohol intake.
If you smoke, you should avoid this. Smoking can affect your blood sugar level and make prediabetes worse.
Talk to your doctor about the best way to quit smoking.
Limiting your intake of sweet foods
Some foods have been shown to raise your blood sugar. These include:
- Refined sugars and sugar substitutes, such as high-fructose corn syrup
- White bread and pastries
- Sweets, such as cakes and candy
- Refined carbohydrates, such as white rice
A research review published in 2017 in the journal Diabetes Care suggests that people with prediabetes shouldn’t eat or drink sweeteners.
Drinking too much soda, fruit juices, and other sweet foods can increase your blood sugar and lead to high blood pressure and other issues.
You should limit or avoid sweet foods if you have prediabetes.
Not having enough fiber
Fiber helps keep your digestive tract moving. It can also help keep your blood sugar levels stable.
If you don’t eat enough fiber, your blood sugar levels can rise. This can lead to prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
Talk to your family doctor, dietitian, or a local health center about how much fiber you should eat daily.
Treatment for prediabetes depends on the underlying cause. Your doctor will determine the best treatment option for you.
If your doctor diagnoses you with prediabetes, they may recommend:
- A healthy diet. This can include healthy fats and other nutrients, such as fiber, to help manage your blood sugar.
Prediabetes can be a serious condition. If you have prediabetes and you have symptoms, you should see your doctor.
Your doctor will help you manage the condition and help you reach your treatment goals
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