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Many people do not know they have pre-diabetes. That’s when blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
The good news is prediabetes can be reversed. Through a national study called the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that “millions of high-risk people can delay or avoid developing type 2 diabetes by losing weight through regular physical activity and a diet low in fat calories.”
According to the NIH the three major causes of type 2 diabetes are often within our control. These are:
When we eat, most of our food is turned into glucose, or sugar, which the body uses as energy. Diabetes is a disease in which blood sugar level, or blood glucose, is too high. The sugar is moved around the body to our cells by a hormone, called insulin, which is made in the pancreas.
For a person with diabetes, the body either doesn't make enough insulin or the body is not able to use the insulin it does make. In either case, sugar builds up in the blood. Over time, this may lead to heart attacks, high blood pressure, stroke, blindness and more.
Of course, getting more physical activity and eating better aren’t new messages. So, how do you do it? Start with some small steps. Try these tips. Healthy actions do add up!
Delaying diabetes is the first step to prevention. Along with making changes, talk with your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested. Be sure that they know if you have a family history of diabetes.
Originally published December 5, 2016 Revised 2019, 2020
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Last Updated 10012018Y0096_WEB_MT_CONNECT19_C