National Diabetes Month: Prediabetes and diabetes prevention
November is National Diabetes Month, and according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the focus for 2021 is on prediabetes and preventing diabetes. Being prediabetic means that your blood sugar levels are higher than what they should be, but they’re not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that prediabetes is pretty common – “more than 88 million US adults have it, though more than 84 percent don’t know they do.”
And while being 45 years of age or older puts you at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes, there is some good news:
- Prediabetes can be reversed
- Type 2 diabetes can be prevented
How? It’s all about making small, positive lifestyle changes. Prevention and making changes are important. Why? Type 2 diabetes is a chronic, serious health condition that can lead to other serious health issues including blindness, heart disease, kidney failure and stroke.
Tips for prediabetes management and diabetes prevention
With the help of the CDC and the NIDDK, we put together these tips:
- Start with small steps
It all starts with making positive lifestyle changes, big or small. “Remember that setbacks are normal and do not mean you have failed—the key is to get back on track as soon as you can,” says the NIDDK.
- Set a weight loss goal
Losing weight is a great way to prevent or delay diabetes. According to the CDC, shedding just five percent of your weight can help reverse prediabetes. Set a weight loss goal for five to seven percent of your starting weight, track your progress, and once you achieve your goal, work to keep the weight off.
- Make healthy choices
It’s very easy – and tempting – to choose sugary, sweet foods. They’re tasty and comforting. However, prediabetes management and prevention start with making healthy choices including eating more foods that are high in fiber and fewer foods that are high in fat and sugar. A balanced diet includes carbohydrates, protein and vegetables, and whenever possible, choose to drink water instead of sweetened drinks.
- Add more movement
Incorporate more movement and physical activity into your day (at least 30 minutes). Check with your doctor or healthcare provider about which activities are best for you and which ones to avoid.
- Get support
Support can come in many ways. Let your family and friends know about your goals and why they’re important to you. Online communities may also be a great way to connect with others. Always remember that your doctor or healthcare provider is also there to help you meet your health goals by offering advice and direction, referring you to specialists or connecting you with a National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). The DPP is a partnership of organizations working together to help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by providing affordable, high-quality lifestyle change programs. You can find a program near you by entering in your zip code on the CDC’s website.
Taking these steps above can give you more energy that you need to help you live life boldly. And don’t forget, ApexHealth is a Medicare Advantage plan that has your back. Give us a call at (844) 279-0508 (TTY: 711) to speak with an ApexAssistant. Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. (local time) from Apr. 1 through Sept. 30 and seven days a week 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. (local time) from Oct. 1 through Mar. 31. For all matters related to your medical health, we recommend contacting your doctor or healthcare provider.