If you were at risk for a serious chronic illness like diabetes, chances are you’d know it, right? Turns out, you might not. According to the CDC, one in three Americans has pre-diabetes, and most, 90% in fact, don’t even know it. Because November is National Diabetes Month, our professional Phoenix caregivers want to give you the heads up on how to know if you have pre-diabetes and what you can do about it if you do.
What is pre-diabetes?
Because it often doesn’t present with any symptoms, many people don’t know that pre-diabetes exists or how serious it is to their health. In fact, pre-diabetes frequently goes undetected for years until a person experiences a major health problem caused by elevated blood sugar levels that put the person at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. So, how can you know if you’re at risk for pre-diabetes?
It’s important to talk to your doctor about your risk for pre-diabetes, but certain lifestyle and hereditary factors can increase your risk, including:
- Being overweight or obese
- Being 45 years or older
- Lack of physical activity
- Having a close family member (parent or sibling) with type 2 diabetes
- A previous diagnosis of gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)
- Being of African American, Hispanic/Latino American, Native American, Pacific Islander, and/or Asian American race
What can you do now to prevent diabetes?
If you have pre-diabetes or are at risk for the disease, there is good news. The steps for prevention are basic, healthy lifestyle choices that you can start making now.
Step 1: Start exercising. A simple thirty minutes a day, five times a week of brisk walking or a similar activity is recommended to help increase your physical activity.
Step 2: Reduce your weight if you are overweight. A modest weight loss of five to seven percent can make a significant difference.
Step 3: Eat better and smarter to help lower blood sugar. Eat a variety of foods—particularly whole grains and fruits and vegetables, limit serving sizes so you don’t overeat and eat regular meals and small snacks.
Step 4: Find support. Making lifestyle changes to support your health, while important, can often feel daunting, so it’s vital to find support to help keep you on the healthy path. Nightingale’s professional Phoenix caregivers can help support your healthy lifestyle changes by shopping for and preparing nutritious meals that meet your unique dietary needs and encouraging and supporting you in exercise programs recommended by your doctor.
Additionally, our Pathlink Chronic Disease Management program is known for improving outcomes and decreasing re-hospitalizations for patients with a wide variety of chronic conditions, including diabetes, through improved health literacy, self-management skills, and more.
If you or a loved one has pre-diabetes, our dedicated Phoenix caregivers can help. Call us at (602) 504-1555, or contact us online to let us know how we can help, and we’ll be in touch with you as soon as possible.