Today is Diabetes Alert Day, the American Diabetes Association’s way of telling you to “WAKE UP!” if you are at risk for diabetes.
But would a better wakeup call instead be Prediabetes Alert Day? While full blown diabetes is nothing to scoff at, prediabetes is a mega-problem in and of itself.
Prediabetes is your yellow-light flashing, caution flags waving, sirens blaring heads-up that you’re certainly moving in the direction of full blown diabetes.
As is the case with type 2 diabetes, the majority of people with prediabetes are overweight or obese. Not surprisingly, people with prediabetes are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes (which accounts for 90-95% of all cases of diabetes).
But what may surprise you is that prediabetes is reversible. And it’s reversible without pills, without surgery, and without insulin.
The keys to reversing prediabetes are totally low-tech: eat right and exercise to lose 5-10% of your body weight. For a 200-pound person, that equates to 10-20 pounds of weight loss.
While losing weight is certainly easier said than done, does weight loss actually work to prevent diabetes in people with prediabetes? Absolutely.
The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a large study of people at high risk for diabetes, demonstrated that lifestyle intervention to lose weight and increase physical activity reduced the development of type 2 diabetes by 58% during a 3-year period. The reduction was even greater (71%) among people aged 60 years or older.
The bottom line? The best prescription for prediabetes is exercise and weight loss.
To find out if you are at risk for prediabetes or diabetes, take this Diabetes Risk Test. And if you find you are at risk – do something about it this Diabetes Alert Day!
For more information on lowering diabetes risk, visit the American Diabetes Association’s risk reduction page. For individualized help and to find a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) in your area, click here.