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Pre-Diabetes Risks

Healthy Lifestyle

What is pre-diabetes?

Have you ever heard of “pre-diabetes”? Yes, it’s a real thing, and it’s a growing health issue in our country. It's estimated that 84.1 million adults have pre-diabetes. In fact, 9 out of 10 people with pre-diabetes don’t even know they have it!  

People with pre-diabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, which can also increase risk of heart attack or stroke. The key is to prevent type 2 diabetes before it strikes. I often tell patients that making small changes, such as losing five percent of your current body weight and adding a little more activity during the day, can reduce the chance of pre-diabetes turning into type 2 diabetes.

Preventing pre-diabetes

  • Take an on-line pre-diabetes screening test. These tests can help you find out your risk of developing pre-diabetes. Taking this pre-diabetes screening test from the CDC can help you gauge your risk.  
  • Go to your doctor and see if you have pre-diabetes. If your fasting blood glucose reading is less than 100 mg/dl, then have your blood drawn yearly. If the blood glucose reading is over 100 mg/dl, then discuss with your doctor what pre-diabetes is and how to prevent Type 2 diabetes.
  • Reduce portion sizes of the foods you eat. Reducing portion sizes helps with weight loss. It is not necessarily what you eat that influences your risk of Type 2 diabetes, but how much. Download and print this handy portion size guide to determine the right amount to eat.  
  • Get moving! Current recommendations suggest you need to exercise 150 minutes per week, which is 30 minutes 5 days a week. Does that seem like a lot? Start slow and gradually work up the time you exercise. Start with a 10 minute walk and work up to 30 minutes. Increasing your physical activity will prevent Type 2 diabetes and reduce your risk for a heart attack or stroke. 

By taking action now with healthy eating and increasing your activity, you can prevent Type 2 diabetes and prevent a heart attack or stroke. 

Need help?

If you need assistance with nutrition or weight management, please contact the Methodist Center for Diabetes and Nutritional Health at 402-354-8797 to reschedule an appointment with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

Martha Nepper

About the Author:

Martha Nepper, PhD, RDN, LMNT, CDE, is passionate about healthy eating and nutrition. Her favorite part of being a registered dietitian nutritionist is seeing someone become healthier through better nutrition and adding more activity in their lives.

You can find Martha helping patients with healthier nutrition at the Methodist Center for Diabetes and Nutritional Health.

See More Articles by Martha Nepper