Borderline Diabetic or Pre-Diabetic – Here’s Your First Line of Defense

by: Curtis Bullock

Before you are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, you may be considered as a prediabetic. Prediabetes means that you have higher than normal blood sugar although not yet high enough to be considered as Type 2 diabetes. Being prediabetic simply means you have been given a “wake-up” call: you still can avoid diabetes and other diseases such as heart disease and stroke.

How do you know if you are prediabetic?

When you see your doctor he normally orders blood tests such as: fasting plasma, glucose, fasting oral glucose tolerance, HbA1c.

1. Fasting Plasma Glucose: Blood is drawn and tested after you’ve gone without food or drink for at least 8 hours. This test is usually the preferred test for diagnosing whether you have prediabetes or Type 2.

2. Fasting Oral Glucose Tolerance Test or Glucose Challenge: This test may be done right after a fasting test, or it may be done separately. You are given a glucose mixture to drink then wait for 1 or 2 hours when blood is drawn and your sugar level measured.

3. Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c): This is one of the best tests to measure how your blood sugar is doing because a single blood test measures your blood sugar average over the previous 3 months.

Results of these tests indicates: HbA1c… Normal 6.5%, Fasting Plasma Glucose… Normal 126mg/dL (7mmol/L)

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test… Normal 140mg/dL (7.8mmol/L)… Prediabetes 140 To 200mg/dL (7.8 to 11.1mmol/L)…Type 2 Diabetes >200mg/dL (11.1mmol/L)

Based on these results, as well as your: genetics, age, weight, gender, and
other medical problems your doctor will then make the decision whether you are prediabetic or not. Studies have supported the fact that prediabetics can prevent full-blown Type 2 diabetes by making changes in their lifestyle. These changes include weight control, regular exercise and a healthy diet.

Now, how do you start? Well, you don’t have to have a gym membership or buy expensive exercise equipment. On a nice day, walk around the neighborhood… start small though, don’t shock yourself. Start with 10 to 15 minutes per day. Remember, stop when you feel dizzy or experience chest pain.

Walking is not the only exercise you can do. Simple things like playing with your kids/grandkids or dancing the night away also count as exercise.

When it comes to your diet, it really is as simple as being aware of what you eat:

at the office cafeteria, there are usually vegetables and fruits served with each meal. Instead of reaching for that chocolate cake for dessert, try some apples or oranges instead
when eating out, branch out from your usual choices and scan the menu for healthier options like chicken or turkey. Try out that new salad too!
if you are cooking your own food, substitute regular oil with cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil to help control your cholesterol
avoid adding additional salt or sugar to your dishes; instead try some herbs and spices
trim excess and visible fat and skin from your meats, also try grilling and broiling them instead of frying

Time to face the facts: there are a lot of changes to be made to your lifestyle. It’s hard to adjust from a sedentary, eat-what-you-want lifestyle to an active, fruit and vegetable filled one. Making drastic changes is one thing; making them last is another. You would greatly benefit from making gradual small changes in your lifestyle rather than one big change.

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Podiatrist Olga Garcia Luepschen and the Gentle Foot Care Center can be found at 2 Ryant Blvd. in Sebring (on U.S. 27) or by calling 314-9255(WALK) and feel free to visit our website at http://www.gentlefootcarecenter.com

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