Avoiding a Diabetes Diagnosis When You Have Prediabetes

Though a serious health condition, you can reverse prediabetes. In fact, being diagnosed with prediabetes may be the wake-up call you need to make lifestyle changes that improve your health and well-being. More importantly, your diagnosis may help you avoid developing full-fledged diabetes

Unlike prediabetes, diabetes is a chronic and often irreversible health condition that requires ongoing medical care and management. Having diabetes also increases your risk of developing other health problems, such as cardiovascular disease and neuropathy. 

At MS Family Medicine Health Care PC, with New York City offices in Rosedale and Garden City, Michele Reed, DO, FAAFP, and our team focus on wellness and preventative care. When our patients come in for their annual physical, we perform many health screenings to find problems — such as prediabetes — before they turn into serious health issues.

In this blog, Dr. Reed explains what prediabetes is and how you can avoid developing diabetes.

What is prediabetes?

If you have prediabetes, your blood sugar numbers are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Prediabetes is a serious health condition that affects one out of every three Americans. It develops because of problems with your insulin.

Insulin, which is a hormone that’s made in your pancreas, transports blood sugar from your bloodstream into your cells. With prediabetes, your cells are resistant to the actions of your insulin, stopping the blood sugar from entering. 

Because the blood sugar doesn’t enter your cells, it stays in your blood, increasing your blood sugar levels and triggering your pancreas to increase insulin production. Over time, your pancreas can’t keep up with the high insulin demand, and your blood sugar levels rise above normal and you develop prediabetes.

Prediabetes occurs without causing symptoms, and you can have it for years without knowing. That’s why physicals and annual checkups are so important. 

During your annual wellness exam, we can easily diagnose prediabetes and provide you with the tools and support you need to stop your prediabetes from turning into diabetes. 

How is prediabetes diagnosed?

We perform a simple blood sugar test to diagnose prediabetes. In fact, we use the same blood sugar tests we use to screen for diabetes. 

The American Diabetes Association recommends all adults start diabetes health screenings by age 45, but we may run the blood sugar test if we suspect you're at risk of developing the chronic health condition.

Risk factors for developing prediabetes and diabetes include:

People of color are also at greater risk of developing prediabetes and diabetes, and they can benefit from earlier diabetes health screenings. 

How can diabetes be avoided?

A prediabetes diagnosis puts you at greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, but it’s not inevitable. In fact, being diagnosed with prediabetes may help you avoid a diabetes diagnosis. 

Losing weight, getting regular exercise, and making better food choices may be all you need to do to reverse your prediabetes and prevent diabetes. This may sound overwhelming, but even small changes make a big difference.

Dropping as little as 5% of your current weight (10 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds) and getting 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week may be enough to improve your health, lower your blood sugar, and avoid diabetes. 

Through our wellness and preventative services, we offer many treatments and therapies to support lifestyle changes, including nutritional counseling. 

If you have prediabetes or diabetes and want treatment, or if you want to get tested to see if you have either, book an appointment online or over the phone with MS Family Medicine Health Care PC today.

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