How to Prevent Prediabetes From Becoming Full-Blown Diabetes

The new diabetes numbers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are alarming — more than 34 million children and adults have diabetes, and 88 million adults are considered prediabetic. As health care crises like COVID-19 grip the world, it’s still important to be aware of chronic conditions like diabetes, especially when the United States is reporting 1.5 million new cases each year.

Hidden in these numbers are the opportunities for you to take matters into your own hands by preventing your prediabetes from becoming a full-blown diabetes diagnosis.

At Florida Compassionate Care Centers in Ormond Beach, Florida, our expert team specializes in diabetes — both in managing and preventing this chronic disease. Dr. Patricia Gail van Diepen prescribes medical marijuana to diabetics to help alleviate symptoms of neuropathy and regulate their blood sugar levels. Medical marijuana can even help lower your blood pressure

When it comes to preventing diabetes, there are a few steps you can take.

Shed the weight

If you’re carrying extra pounds — and two out of three American are — one of the most important steps you can take as a prediabetic is to lose weight. The link between diabetes and obesity is well-established, and if you endeavor to lose just a small percentage of your overall weight — 5%-10% — you can significantly lower your risks for Type 2 diabetes.

In fact, through its National Diabetes Prevention Program, the CDC reports that losing weight through increased exercise can lower your risk for diabetes by up to 58% — and this increases to 71% for those over age 60.

Exercise more

If you need to lose some weight to improve your health, exercise is one of the best ways to tackle this goal. Aside from promoting weight loss, regular exercise improves your cardiovascular health, which is in the direct line of fire when it comes to the more common complications that develop from diabetes.

By establishing a routine in which you engage in moderate aerobic exercise for at least 150 minutes a week — for example, brisk walking — you can do your health a world of good and help fight off diabetes. While 150 minutes may seem like a lot, you can simply break that down into five 30-minute sessions throughout the week.

Mind your diet

Diabetes is a condition in which your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or becomes insulin-resistant. Insulin is a hormone produced in your pancreas that regulates the levels of glucose, or sugar, in your bloodstream.

If you’re prediabetic, it’s important that you monitor your diet and reduce the amount of glucose you take in so you don’t overtax your insulin. To do this, avoid foods that are full of saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, and sugars — which encompasses just about all junk food, fast foods, and processed foods.

Instead, add healthier foods to your diet, such as:

You can still treat yourself to a salty or sugary snack from time to time, but we urge you to slowly transition your diet to one that favors whole, unprocessed foods.

There are many other steps that you can take to avoid a diabetes diagnosis, such as quitting smoking, but the above three lifestyle changes can make the most impact. To learn more about preventative measures you can take against diabetes, or how medical marijuana can help treat diabetes, contact our office today by calling 386-872-3800 or booking an appointment online.

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