There are two million Australians living with pre-diabetes, and without proper lifestyle changes, they are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. With this number on the rise in both adults and children, now is the time for Australians to take control of their health.
But first, what do we mean by pre-diabetes?
Pre-diabetes means you have a higher than normal blood sugar level, however, it’s not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes. What’s worrying about pre-diabetes is that the damage to your heart, kidney and blood vessels has already started. If your pre-diabetes progresses to type 2 diabetes, you are at greater risk of developing further complications such as cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, blindness, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
There are two main types of pre-diabetes:
The good news is that putting your pre-diabetes into remission is entirely possible by managing your blood sugar levels through lifestyle and diet changes.
So, what do we need to look out for with pre-diabetes? And how can we manage it? And what is diabetes?
Keep reading as we break down exactly what you need to know when it comes to pre-diabetes and how the Defeat Diabetes Program can help.
Whilst the symptoms of pre-diabetes aren’t as obvious as type 2 diabetes, there are a number of signs that can indicate pre-diabetes.
If you don’t take note of these symptoms and seek advice from your doctor, they can lead to more serious complications, such as:
The causes of pre-diabetes are very similar to that of type 2 diabetes; after all, pre-diabetes is your gateway to the condition, so changing your lifestyle habits now will help minimise the risk.
People with pre-diabetes don’t process sugar (glucose) properly any more, making the pancreas work harder and harder to produce insulin. Eventually, though, the pancreas fails and leaves too much glucose in the blood – the main cause of pre-diabetes.
If left untreated, pre-diabetes can progress to type 2 diabetes as insulin production continues to decrease, and resistance increases.
Some of the main causes of pre-diabetes are:
Now you understand some of the causes of pre-diabetes, it’s important to understand other risk factors.
Factors that increase your chance of developing pre-diabetes are:
If these risk factors are not properly managed, they can lead to further complications such as type 2 diabetes, heart attack and stroke, blindness, dementia, kidney disease and nerve damage.
The health effects of pre-diabetes are significant, and if left untreated, can lead to type 2 diabetes and a whole host of serious health problems.
The Defeat Diabetes way of eating can help you put your pre-diabetes into remission and avoid developing further health issues.
Pre-diabetes is a little harder to diagnose than type 2 diabetes because the warning signs are more subtle. Unless you have regular blood tests, you will likely be unaware if your blood glucose levels are too high.
However, there are still ways your doctor can diagnose pre-diabetes.
If you are diagnosed with pre-diabetes, treatment involves much of the same lifestyle changes as type 2 diabetes.
Things like healthy eating, regular exercise and reaching and maintaining a healthy weight are essential for getting your pre-diabetes under control.
In regard to diet, much as in the management of type 2 diabetes, there is significant evidence to show that a healthy fat, low carbohydrate diet can help minimise the risk of pre-diabetes. One study, in particular, concluded that a healthy fat, low carbohydrate diet achieved better blood glucose stability and reduction in medication requirements than a low fat, high carbohydrate diet.
These are just some of the reasons why the Defeat Diabetes Program recommends a low carb, healthy fat diet to help with the management of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Regular exercise is recommended to complement any changes in diet to help manage pre-diabetes as physical activity helps your body use insulin better. Even just 30 minutes a day of brisk walking, swimming or an activity like gardening is a good start. Adding in some resistance training twice a week will improve muscle mass and weight management.
As with all changes to your diet or lifestyle, it’s recommended to do so under the care of your health professional and consult your doctor or dietitian before making any adjustments.
Being diagnosed with pre-diabetes doesn’t mean you’re going to develop type 2 diabetes, but it does put you at greater risk.
There is strong evidence showing that type 2 diabetes can be prevented in up to 58% of cases through eating well and exercising.
Some factors to consider are:
The team at Defeat Diabetes, supported by the latest evidence and a medical advisory panel of dietitians, GPs and surgeons, believe diet is the single most important element in managing both pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
If you’d like to know more or would like to share your success story, drop us a line in the ‘Help’ box below or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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