Prediabetes is a condition where you have more sugar (also called glucose) in your blood than normal—but not so much that you can be diagnosed with diabetes.
If you have prediabetes, you have a much greater chance of getting diabetes in the next five years. There’s a lot you can do to lower your blood sugar — and lower your other health risks at the same time.
Why does it matter?
High blood sugar puts you at risk for serious health problems, including:
- Getting diabetes. About one in three people with prediabetes get diabetes within five years. Diabetes can lead to serious health problems like kidney disease and blindness if it’s not managed well.
- Having a heart attack or stroke. Even if you don’t get diabetes, high blood sugar makes you more likely to have these serious events.
Steps to take to protect your health
- Start changing your daily habits. Simple changes to your daily habits can lower blood sugar in people with prediabetes. These changes can delay—and even prevent—the onset of diabetes and other problems.
- Be more physically active every day. Aim for at least 150 minutes a week—or about 30 minutes, 5 days a week. Both your heart rate and breathing should be harder and faster than when you’re at rest.
- Make healthy food choices. Eat fewer processed carbohydrates (like white bread, crackers, sugar cereals, and pasta). Instead, choose vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Remember to watch your portion sizes.
- Lose a little weight. Losing between 5% and 7% of your total weight can lower your blood sugar and protect your health.
- Prediabetes 101. This is a free two-hour class. It’s taught by a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) trained in what to eat to lower your blood sugar. You’ll learn about preventing diabetes and make a personal plan for what you can do and who can help you.
- The Weigh to Health program. This is a one-year program to help you make lifestyle changes that support both weight loss and diabetes prevention. There are 16 weekly group sessions and up to six monthly individual visits.
- Meet with a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). An RDN can help you make an eating plan that’s right for you. Some insurance plans will pay for 3 or more individual appointments.
By making a few changes to your daily habits and participating in a pre-diabetes program you can reduce your risk of developing diabetes and live the healthiest life possible.
Intermountain’s pre-diabetes program is administered by a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) trained in what to eat to lower your blood sugar. As you manage your blood sugar and risks you will also work closely with your experienced provider.
Have your healthcare providers test your blood sugar every 6 to 12 months. They’ll help you see how you’re doing and check your overall health. They may also recommend a medicine to help lower your blood sugar.