Higher-than-normal levels of blood sugar are a sign of prediabetes, a condition that comes before type 2 diabetes for many individuals. While the diagnosis might come as an unwelcome surprise during one of your annual wellness visits, it’s far from a death sentence.
Here at Westmed Family Healthcare in Westminster, Colorado, our experts specialize in identifying prediabetes so they can help you lower your blood sugar in a safe and effective way.
At our offices in Westminster, Colorado, board-certified physicians Clifton Etienne, MD, Michael Cavanagh, MD, and Flora Brewington, MD, provide annual wellness exams and other visits to keep a close eye on your health and make sure you’re managing your blood sugar.
Here’s what you might not realize about prediabetes:
You might not have symptoms
Prediabetes frequently appears without a single discernable symptom or noticeable difference in functioning. You may go about your routine for months or even years being fully unaware of the rising glucose levels in your blood.
For those who do get symptoms, one of the most common signs is darkening skin on certain areas of your body. This is especially common in folded areas like your neck, groin, or armpits.
Any other symptoms that occur usually indicate you’re crossing the border from prediabetes into type 2 diabetes. You should let your provider know right away if you’re increasingly hungry, thirsty, or losing weight.
Think of prediabetes as a warning sign
If your physician tells you you have prediabetes, it doesn’t mean you need to jump right into a rigorous treatment plan or start taking medications to control your condition. However, it does mean you need to make some changes. A prediabetes diagnosis puts you at an especially high risk for getting type 2 diabetes, but healthy lifestyle choices can safely lower your blood sugar.
If you take your prediabetes diagnosis seriously and commit to making a few adjustments to your routine, you can avoid type 2 diabetes and the treatments and complications that come with it. To manage prediabetes, you must center fiber-filled and low-fat foods in your diet, get more exercise, keep an eye on your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and stop smoking if it’s a habit of yours.
You still have time to prevent type 2 diabetes
Within about 2-5 years of a prediabetes diagnosis, only around 25% of individuals develop diabetes. Of course, a longer timespan involves a larger percentage, but this statistic goes to show that you have more time than you might think to examine and alter your lifestyle.
Want to learn more?
There’s plenty of information out there on prediabetes and how you can take your diagnosis as a positive opportunity for change. Schedule an appointment over the phone or online at Westmed Family Healthcare today to learn more.