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Prediabetes Affects a Third of All Adults

Prediabetes Affects a Third of All Adults

By Lance Madigan

Jun 5, 2018

Updated Jul 13, 2023

5 min read


Prediabetes sounds like something that only affects your grandparents, right?

Well, not necessarily. Millions of Americans are at risk for prediabetes and don’t even know it. Changing your lifestyle now will help you avoid becoming part of that statistic.

“Many health conditions can improve or even be reversed through healthy lifestyle changes. If you make the investment now, it will preserve your health as you age and allow you to continue doing the things you love to do,” says Traci Heiner, supervisor of Cardiac Rehabilitation at Intermountain Healthcare’s Utah Valley Hospital.

Regular exercise and being active are essential to creating a healthier lifestyle, but that can be intimidating if your activity level has been low. Luckily, there’s a variety of beginning exercises you can do to increase your heart rate, jump-start your metabolism, and kick your prediabetic lifestyle goodbye.

Three times a week, try to do something you like that gets your heart rate up at the same time.

  • Go on a walk with someone you love or take your pet on a stroll.
  • Go to an exercise class with friends.
  • Depending on the time of year, you can explore the mountains by hiking or snowshoeing.
  • If you like to run, switch off between running and walking so you don’t burn yourself out.

Nutrition is also important.  Eat regularly throughout the day and follow a balanced diet. Foods with carbohydrates will increase your blood sugar, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid them. Carbohydrates are an essential part of a balanced diet and give us energy. If you have diabetes, you’ll want to balance your carbohydrates with protein and non-starchy vegetables. Watch your portion sizes of these foods and reduce simple sugars in your diet.

Most importantly, know your numbers! Your hemoglobin A1C describes your blood sugar numbers over a long period of time, and daily blood sugar counts show how your body reacts to food, medication, and other factors. If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, your healthcare provider has likely recommended that you test your blood sugar on a regular basis. Additionally, you should know the signs of a high blood sugar: extreme thirst, dry and itchy skin, frequent urination, blurry vision, extreme hunger, and fatigue. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, talk to your healthcare provider and test your blood sugar!

Are You At Risk for Prediabetes?  -- Take our free, interactive quiz to see if you're at risk for prediabetes and learn what you can do about it.

If you have questions about diabetes, join Intermountain Healthcare experts on Tuesday, June 12th as they discuss diabetes, prevention, and management on KUTV and Intermountain Healthcare’s Ask the Expert. Tips and suggestions will be offered throughout the day on Channel 2, with nurses, doctors, and other medical experts providing interviews during news and other broadcasts.

If you have your own questions, our panel of experts will be answering your phone calls from noon to 5:30 p.m. at 1-877-908-0680. You can also submit questions via Facebook and Twitter using #kutvasktheexpert.

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