Q: What can I do to stop prediabetes?
It’s important to remember that prediabetes is not a diagnosis of diabetes. However, it does indicate that your blood sugars are elevated above the normal range and that you’re at a higher risk of developing diabetes. Ideally, the best way to prevent this progression is by making some lifestyle adjustments:
- Increase physical activity. Try to work out three to five times a week for at least 30 minutes each time. Choose something that gets your heart rate up and makes you sweat.
- Cut sugar and carbs. Eat a healthy, plant-based diet or follow the Mediterranean diet. Both diets emphasize fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains instead of simple carbohydrates.
- Get enough rest. Sleeping seven to eight hours nightly helps your body better regulate your blood sugars and heal itself.
- Maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI). If your BMI is above 30, weight loss can really help reduce your risk of developing diabetes (and should be a natural result of following the items above). Calculate your BMI.
Bottom line: Making some lifestyle changes can help improve the course of your health!
—Sam Lee, NP
Sam Lee is a nurse practitioner at Vancouver Clinic. His experience working with patients managing type 1 or type 2 diabetes gives him particular empathy for people dealing with this diagnosis.