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Pre-diabetes: What's the Scoop and How to Keep it in Check

Pre-diabetes is the not-so-fun cousin of diabetes, and it's time we have a little heart-to-heart about what it is and how to keep it at bay. Sadly, it's something I've been struggling with myself for over a year now. Thanks to PCOS, I have to work extra hard to keep it in check. When it comes to pre-diabetes, half of the battle is knowing what's going on, so let's dive right in, shall we?

Pre-diabetes: What's the Scoop and How to Keep it in Check

Those Pesty Numbers: What Does Pre-diabetes Even Mean?

If you've been chatting with your healthcare squad and heard the term "pre-diabetes" thrown around, here's the lowdown. Pre-diabetes is basically when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not quite high enough for a full-on type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

Here are some cold, hard numbers for clarity:

  • Normal blood sugar: A1C levels below 5.7%
  • Pre-diabetes: A1C levels between 5.7% and 6.4%
  • Type 2 diabetes: A1C levels 6.5% or higher

Currently, I've been stuck at 5.8%, which isn't too bad considering, but it's still not where I want to be! 

Fun fact, or maybe not-so-fun: pre-diabetes is kind of a silent ninja because it often doesn't show any symptoms. Queue the dramatic music here.

Source: Unsplash

What Causes Pre-diabetes?

The good people over at the Mayo Clinic have shared some risk factors for developing pre-diabetes:

  1. Family history of diabetes
  2. Packing on extra weight – specifically, around the waist
  3. Lack of physical activity
  4. Age – sorry friends, but the risk increases as we get older, typically around the age of 45
  5. Ethnicity – African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders may experience a higher risk
Lucky me, I tick almost all of the above boxes!

Don't Panic: What to Do if You've Been Diagnosed

First off, don't freak out. Pre-diabetes is far from a death sentence. Instead, it's a heads-up from the universe that you can make some lifestyle changes to send that pre-diabetes running for the hills.

Put on Those Sneakers

Exercise is your new best friend. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity workout like brisk walking, cycling, or swimming, five days a week. It's time to get that heart pumping, those endorphins flowing, and your health soaring. 

I try to get on my stationary bike or elliptical either before work or mid-morning. Once I eat, my digestive system can't handle a workout (I get super bloated). Whatever you choose, just be consistent!

Choose the Right Bites

Becoming BFFs with a healthy diet is a must. Due to my PCOS, I am sticking to a low-carb, low-sugar, and low-GI diet. 

You should focus on including more fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats in your menu. Ditch processed foods, high-sugar snacks (bye-bye, donuts), and saturated fats. Yeah, it's adulting, but adulting can be delicious, too.

Source: Unsplash

Shed Some Pounds

Extra weight doesn't just make your jeans tighter; it can also play a role in developing pre-diabetes. Aim to lose 7% of your body weight to help reduce the risk of moving from pre-diabetes to type 2 diabetes. That's a mere 14 pounds if you're 200 lbs. 

I lost close to 25 pounds last year, then gained about eight of it back by being complacent. 🤦‍♀️ I've now lost three of the eight, and I'm working on getting much lower (I have a long ways to go, but I'm motivated!)

Keep an Eye on That Blood Sugar

Regularly check in with your healthcare team to keep tabs on your blood sugar levels. Stick to your doctor's recommendations and stay informed about your progress.

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

It's time to take control of your health, and you can do it! Keep pre-diabetes at bay by making some lifestyle changes - and perhaps kicking its butt in the process. You got this!

So, tell me: What's your game plan for tackling pre-diabetes? Share your strategies in the comments below!


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