Central Peninsula Hospital | Pulse | Fall 2020

Plan to fail— sometimes. There may be times when you won’t manage diabetes as well as you or your doctor would like. Don’t criticize yourself. Note what you’ll do differently next time, and move forward. Form a team. Ask your family or a couple of friends to make the same healthy lifestyle changes you’re working on. Sources: American Association of Diabetes Educators; American Diabetes Association; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Talk it out. Reach out to family and friends, or go to a diabetes support group. Talking can help you feel stronger when you’re struggling. Sometimes, if we’re lucky, we get a heads-up about a potential problem— like a traffic jam that is blocking our route—which allows us to change course and go in a different direction. Learning you have prediabetes is a little like that. Prediabetes means your blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. How- ever, it also means you’re at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Almost everyone who has type 2 diabetes had prediabetes previously. But not everyone who has prediabe- tes will progress to full-blown diabe- tes. In fact, if you’re diagnosed with prediabetes, it’s crucial to know this: You can often reverse prediabetes by making a few changes in your eating and exercise habits. Are you at risk for prediabetes? Many people who have prediabetes don’t realize it because the condition doesn’t cause symptoms. The only way to know for sure is with a simple blood test. You might want to talk to your health care provider about being tested if you have any of these risk factors: ● You’re overweight. ● Your parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes. ● You’re at least 45 years old. ● You are physically active fewer than three times a week. ● You ever gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds. ● You had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy). Turn it around In addition to raising your risk of type 2 diabetes, prediabetes also makes you more vulnerable to hav- ing heart disease or a stroke. That’s why it’s important to make lifestyle changes that can return your blood sugar levels to the normal range and significantly lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Those changes include: Losing 7% of your body weight if you’re overweight. For someone weighing 200 pounds, that’s a loss of 14 pounds. Exercising moderately. You don’t have to join a gym. Moderate exercise can be as uncomplicated as taking a brisk walk at least five days a week. Eating a healthy diet. Focus on vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lean protein (think fish and chicken) and low-fat dairy products. Cut back on processed, fried and fatty foods. Choose water over sugary drinks. Sources: American Academy of Family Physicians; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Diabetes: How to beat burnout Let’s face it: Some days, following your diabetes self-care plan can seem a little overwhelming. Here are five ways to get past that feeling: P R ED I A B E T E S Take the path to prevention 4 Central Peninsula Hospital