Diabetes is a growing problem throughout the world and one condition that no one should take lightly. The vast majority of those that will eventually develop type 2 diabetes will first have prediabetes. This condition should be seen as a “warning sign” that will allow patients to begin making some major changes in their lifestyle to avoid the complications of type 2 diabetes. If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with prediabetes, here is a look at some important advice to improve your health and well-being.
Don’t Neglect Your Mental and Psychological Health
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Being diagnosed with either prediabetes or type 2 diabetes can present a patient with a wide variety of mental and psychological hurdles. Every single person will react differently to their diagnosis with emotions ranging from fear and disbelief to anger and confusion. Anyone diagnosed with these conditions should recognize that their mental health will be important in the coming months and speak with their primary healthcare provider about a support system.
Get an Accurate Diagnosis
Prediabetes is often seen as a grey area when it comes to this disease. Doctors may classify a patient as a prediabetic or borderline diabetic if they have a number of risk factors for type 2 diabetes and are beginning to show signs of insulin resistance. Before taking any further actions, patients want to confirm that their diagnosis is correct and exactly how far along they are in this process. The earlier that a patient and doctor catch prediabetes, the more options they will have for improving their health with minor lifestyle changes.
Start Changing Lifestyle Habits Today
No patient should ever feel as if they can put off making changes for another time. Many will decide that they can start taking care of themselves after the holidays or when work is less stressful, but every month in which changes are not made will make treatment more difficult. Even going out of your way to lose just 10 or 15 pounds around your midsection will drastically help your case. At the very least, cut out a few unhealthy habits such as drinking soda and try to get in at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week as you prepare yourself for bigger changes.
Use Your Doctors
It is never fun to hear bad news from the doctor, but failing to make any changes can be dangerous. Patients should immediately begin speaking with their primary healthcare provider about their options for meeting with a diabetes specialist. Many family doctors have at least a few resources of where prediabetic patients can receive help. You should also start scheduling appointments with your doctor or diabetes specialist more frequently. Even if you have begun to show some improvement, appointments should continue to be scheduled every 3 to 6 months. Doctors are also a great option to give you tangible and positive feedback as you turn your life around.
Being diagnosed with prediabetes does not mean that type 2 diabetes is inevitable. Instead, try to get proactive about your health right away and steer clear of the life-altering side effects of full type 2 diabetes.