Preschool prepares very young children for “big kids” school. The children get a taste of what a more structured school environment is like, and this prepares them for moving to that stage of their life. Receiving a pre-diabetic diagnosis is similar to preschool. Your body is slowly moving in the direction of diabetes, and is prepared to take that unhealthy step if you do not do something about it.
Unlike the preschool/grade school relationship, prediabetes doesn’t always lead to diabetes. Parents send their children to preschool to intentionally prepare them for kindergarten and then grade school. No one ever intentionally signs up for prediabetes in the hopes that they will become diabetic.
While no one would consciously look forward to achieving a prediabetic assessment, your life choices are largely responsible for this diagnosis. If you stay regularly active and eat a smart diet, hydrate your body and get plenty of rest regularly, odds are you will never hear your doctor tell you that you are prediabetic.
The opposite is also true.
If you make certain lifestyle choices, choosing a diet full of refined sugar, high levels of salt, white flour and processed foods over fresh fruits and vegetables most of the time, your odds of becoming prediabetic increase dramatically. If you are also sedentary and infrequently active, you raise your risk even further. After a prediabetic diagnosis, if you don’t make sensible changes in your life, you could be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
What Are the Odds That Prediabetes Leads to Type 2 Diabetes?
You should look at prediabetes as a signal. Your body is telling you what could be on the horizon if you keep living your life the way you are now. A prediabetic condition means that your blood glucose level is higher than normal, but it is still manageable. It also means that you have not become diabetic yet, where your glucose rises even higher than in prediabetes.
About 1 in 3 people in the United States has prediabetes. In other countries where a diet of mostly processed foods is joined by a sedentary lifestyle with little physical activity, that same ratio can be expected. Prediabetics are not guaranteed to develop diabetes, but research shows that when significant lifestyle changes are not made, 50% of prediabetics develop type 2 diabetes sometime in the following 10 years.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information and the National Institutes of Health in the United States tell us that only about 10% of prediabetics become diabetic each year.
This is great news, and it agrees with the findings from the National Health Services in the United Kingdom. This means that prediabetes is a red flag, not an inevitable and unavoidable prognosis of diabetes. However, you must take sensible action to ensure you are in that 90% group that doesn’t develop diabetes.
Good News – Prediabetes Is Reversible
Most doctors will tell you that a weight loss of just 10 to 15 pounds goes a long way towards reversing prediabetes. As mentioned earlier, frequent physical activity and a smart diet can quickly turn around a prediabetic diagnosis.
Losing weight is the key. Heart and diabetes specialists around the world will tell you just 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate to intense aerobic activity and physical movement each week delivers multiple health benefits, including weight loss and healthy weight management.
Those 2.5 hours of movement could be brisk walking, swimming, energetic dancing, cycling, hiking or performing aerobics. The key is just to get up and get moving whenever you can.
Add resistance training 2 or 3 times a week, either lifting weights, performing body weight exercises, or working out with resistance bands, and you crank up the calorie and fat burning ability of your body, promoting weight loss.
When you incorporate smart nutrition, getting plenty of rest regularly and drinking lots of water each day into a regular plan of physical activity, your chances of reversing prediabetes and avoiding type 2 diabetes are excellent.