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Pre-diabetes: What Is It and What Can I Do?

You can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes.
Having pre-diabetes means you might get type 2 diabetes. But you can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes. Regular physical activity and aiming for a healthy weight can help.

What is pre-diabetes?

Pre-diabetes is a condition that comes before diabetes. It means that blood sugar levels are higher than normal but aren't high enough to be called diabetes. You can have pre-diabetes and not know it.

If I have pre-diabetes, what does it mean for me?

It means:

• You might get type 2 diabetes soon or sometime down the road
• You are also more likely to get heart disease or have a stroke

The good news is that you can take steps to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes. Diabetes runs in my family. My dad has it and so does my sister. So I went to the doctor and got checked. The doctor said I have pre-diabetes. My blood sugar was high but I don't have diabetes-not yet anyhow. The doctor said I'm likely to get diabetes unless I change some habits. I want to beat the odds and keep from getting diabetes. Now I'm exercising more and eating less so 1 can lose some weight.

How can I delay or prevent type 2 diabetes?

Even if you have pre-diabetes, you may be able to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes with:

• Regular physical activity, such as walking almost every day.
• Weight loss

A recent study, the Diabetes Prevention Program, showed that these steps helped most people delay or prevent diabetes. You might be surprised to learn that although physical activity and weight loss worked well for people of all ages, these steps worked best for people aged 60 and older.

Regular Physical Activity Can Delay or Prevent Diabetes

Being active almost every day is one of the best ways to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes. You can lower your chances of getting type 2 diabetes by adding physical activity to your routine. Even if you have heart disease or other problems, you can still be more active. Work with your health care team to find out which physical activity choices are safe for you.

• Regular physical activity helped delay or prevent type 2 diabetes in the Diabetes.
• Prevention Program. Most people in the study chose to walk about 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.

Walking Works!. Many people like to walk for exercise. Think about whether you'd like to try walking. If you haven't exercised before, talk with your health care provider about what to do and for how long. It might be best to start off with 5 or 10 minutes a day and work your way up to more.

After I found out I had pre-diabetes, I wanted to do what I could to prevent diabetes. I decided to take a walk after breakfast almost every day. After three months, I lost 6 pounds. When my doctor checked my blood sugar level recently, it was normal! But I'm going to keep walking to prevent diabetes. I really enjoy my walks!

Your plan for walking will help you reach your goal step by step.
Checking off the boxes below can help you make a plan.

Where will I walk?
o In my neighborhood.
o Around the track at a school.
o At the shopping mall.
o In' haliways.
When will I walk?
o In the morning.
o In the afternoon.
o In the evening.
o After meals.

How many days a week will I walk?
o 5 days a week.
o Every other day, working up to 5 days a week.

How long will my walks be?
o 10 minutes, three times a day.
o 30 minutes at a time.

What will I need for walking?
o Comfortable, sturdy shoes.

Who will I walk with?
o A friend or a family member.
o My dog.

How will I keep track of my walking?
I'll write down how long I walked each time.
o I'll wear a pedometer (a small device worn on your belt that tells you how many steps you've taken).

What will I do if I can't walk as I planned?
o I'll walk inside if it's raining.

How will I reward myself for reaching my goal?
o I'll do something special for myself, such as going shopping at the mall.
o When I meet my goal each week, I'll: ……………

The date I'll start walking is: ……………

Other Ways to Boost Your Activity
• Go dancing!
• Try an exercise class on TV
• Walk around while on the phone.
• Take the stairs instead of the elevator, or take the stairs for part of the way.
• Try a water exercise class at a swimming pool.
• As you watch TV, lift cans of food to build muscle.

Weight Loss Can Delay or Prevent Diabetes

Reaching a healthy weight can help you a lot. If you're overweight, any weight loss, even 5 or 10 pounds, will lower your chances of getting type 2 diabetes.

Losing extra weight helped people in the Diabetes Prevention Program delay or prevent diabetes. People lost an average of 15 pounds in the first year of the study. How did they do it? They ate fewer calories and less fat. And they exercised most days of the week, usually by walking.

How to Cut Calories and Fat. Here are some steps you can take to change the way you eat. Small steps add up to big rewards:

Let's Make a Meal!
•  Include a fruit or a vegetable with each meal or snack.
If you have seconds, reach for vegetables, salad, and fruit.
Cut back on regular soft drinks and juice.
Have water or try calorie-free drinks.

Cut Calories by Cutting Serving Sizes
•  When you help yourself to food, take a little less than usual.
Order the smallest portion size when you're eating out.
Split entrees and desserts with family and friends, or take some home for later.

Cut Down on Fat
• Make lower-fat versions of favoxite recipes. Try low-fat mayonnaise, sour cream, or cream soups.
• Use less fat in cooking. Bake, broil, or grill and use nonstick pans and cooking sprays.
• Try lower-fat dairy products, such as low-fat cheese or 1 % milk.
• Use small amounts of butter, margarine, oil, or salad dressing.
• Eat lean meats such as the round or loin cuts, or chicken without the skin.
• Check food labels. Sometimes lower-fat items have just as many calories.

Keep Track of Your Progress
Write down everything you eat and drink for a week. Research shows that writing things down makes you more aware of what you're eating and helps with weight loss.

Lunch at the Sub Shop
Eating out doesn't have to be a diet disaster. You can usually find lower-calorie choices, no matter where you're eating. If you don't see any nutrition information, ask if it's available.

I heard that losing weight could help me prevent diabetes. So I decided to cut back on my lunch. Instead of having high-calorie subs like a meatball sub with cheese, I switched to subs that have fewer calories and less fat, like turkey. The subs with less fat taste good and they fill me up.

Summing It Up

•  Diabetes is a serious disease-not just "a touch of sugar:'
If you delay or prevent it, you'll enjoy better health in the long run.

Diabetes is common-but you can reduce your risk by losing even a small amount of weight.

Small steps lead to big rewards.
Changing the way you eat and increasing your activity can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes.

Getting Started!

•  At your next doctor visit, get your blood sugar checked for pre-diabetes if you are:

45 or older and overweight.

> 45 or older and your weight is normal.
In that case, ask your doctor if you need to be checked for pre-diabetes.
Only your doctor can find out if you have it.

> Under age 45 but overweight and at increased risk for diabetes.
Increased risk means that you have one or more of these risk factors:

·  You have a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes

· You’re African American, Native American, Asian American, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic American you've had a baby weighing more than 9 pounds or you've had gestational diabetes you have high blood pressure (over 140/90), low HDL cholesterol (40 or lower), or high triglycerides (150 or higher).

Get some exercise almost every day. Think about what you're willing and able to do.

Decide how you'll reduce your calories to lose weight.

Plan how you'll keep track of your progress.
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