Prediabetes is a serious and growing problem.  Approximately 1 in 3 adults and 1 in 5 children living in the United States have prediabetes. Many people with prediabetes don’t know they have it.  Prediabetes is a condition where blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes.  If people with prediabetes do not manage their condition, they are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes within five years. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the risk for developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes is higher among Blacks/African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders.

Type 2 Diabetes is Not Just a Touch of Sugar!

Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to a poor quality of life and serious health complications including blindness, amputations, nerve damage, kidney disease, heart disease and stroke. According to The Office of Minority Health and the CDC 2020, the rate for diabetes among Black/African American adults is higher than other ethnicities.

  • In 2018, non-Hispanic Blacks were twice as likely as non-Hispanic Whites to die from diabetes.
  • African American adults are 60 percent more likely than non-Hispanic White adults to be diagnosed with diabetes by a physician and have higher death rates from uncontrolled diabetes.
  • In 2017, non-Hispanic Blacks were 2.3 times more likely to be hospitalized for lower limb amputations as compared to non-Hispanic Whites.

In addition to factors you cannot control including age, gender, and family history, factors like poor nutrition and physical inactivity that can lead to increasing rates of obesity are major risk factors for type 2 diabetes. There are other non-medical issues that contribute to this problem: disparities in income, education, health literacy, and access to health care may result in otherwise preventable (or treatable) cases of diabetes. For some, cultural factors are barriers to preventing diabetes and controlling the disease appropriately.

It is worth making the effort to practice a healthy lifestyle to minimize your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, especially during the national coronavirus epidemic. People with uncontrolled diabetes often suffer more severe illness and are at a greater risk of dying as a result of COVID-19.

Though most people with prediabetes do not know they have the condition, the good news is there are many ways to reverse prediabetes and reduce your risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

10 Tips to Prevent/Delay Type 2 Diabetes    

  1. Know your risks: Take the online prediabetes quiz. If your score is high, follow up with your doctor. For most people, there’s still time to turn things around and reverse prediabetes. If diabetes runs in your family, or if you have symptoms, it is best to talk to a doctor and ask them to test your blood sugar.
  2. Go to your doctor annually: Get regular check-ups. Talk with your healthcare provider to set reasonable goals. If you don’t have a doctor, you can call one of these low-cost clinics for help.
  3. Take a break from sitting too long: Aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. Walking is a great way to reach your weight and activity goals and reduce stress. Start with 10 minutes a day and gradually increase your time.
  4. Make half your plate vegetables: Non-starchy veggies are low in carbohydrates, have fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and can help keep you feeling full longer. Find diabetes-friendly recipes here.
  5. Drink more water: reduce your intake of sugar-sweetened drinks (soda, sweetened coffees, teas, etc.). Try these great flavored-water recipes.
  6. Lose a small amount of weight: If you’re overweight, losing just 5-7% of your body weight (10 to 15 pounds for a person who weighs 200 pounds) can improve your blood sugar.
  7. Quit using tobacco: Call 1-800-QUITNOW or visit our website to learn more. Smoking and using tobacco products increase the risk of serious health problems associated with diabetes.
  8. Sign up for the Southern Nevada Health District’s free online diabetes prevention program to help you with your healthy lifestyle goals. Diabetes prevention programs can help you reduce your risk for developing type 2 diabetes by 58%.
  9. If you have diabetes, take a class to learn how to manage it. Sign up on our free diabetes self-management education class waiting list.
  10. Sign up for SNHD’s free online nutrition, physical activity, and mobile apps today! Call 702-759-1270 or email gethealthy@snhd.org for more info!

Read the article here: Prediabetes is Reversible!