Some risk factors or causes of developing prediabetes are as follows:
Developing prediabetes doesn’t guarantee you will develop diabetes, but according to an ADA expert panel around 70% of people with prediabetes will develop diabetes.³ Don’t let that statistic get you down as there are some simple lifestyle changes you can implement to lower your risk, which will be discussed in upcoming blogs. Unfortunately, not a lot of people know they have prediabetes as there aren’t always symptoms. Some people do experience some of the similar symptoms of having diabetes such as very thirsty, increased hunger, increased urination, fatigue, blurry vision, slow healing, and tingling in extremities.⁴ However, with no symptoms a fair amount of people go undiagnosed until they have diabetes. Fasting blood sugars are part of a basic lab panel, complete metabolic panel, and would be a good idea to get checked once a year to cover your bases. If you have a family history of diabetes, it might be smart to check on your A1c yearly or every other year as well.
Nutrition plays a pretty big role in prediabetes and can be one of the biggest factors that can help with not developing diabetes and/or reverse a prediabetic diagnosis. Blood sugar is mainly impacted by carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables, and grains, that we consume. Protein and fat have little to no impact on our blood sugar. If anything they tend to help our blood sugar control, because they take longer to digest, which means the carbohydrates you eat with the protein and/or fat take longer to enter the system. Imagine a steep roller coaster. That huge peak and valley are what tend to happen when you eat carbohydrates alone, but if you add in protein and/or fat that steep roller coaster becomes a hill. This is not to say we should cut all carbohydrates from the diet, but it would be a good idea to watch the quality and quantity of carbohydrates you are consuming.
One of the best ways to get more information on your diet and how you can help manage prediabetes is by meeting with a registered dietitian. A registered dietitian will be able to look at your specific diet, give recommendations to help you manage your prediabetes, and help you set goals to start implementing those recommendations. Simple diet changes and some other lifestyle changes can be very effective in treating prediabetes.