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Prediabetes, Diabetes, What Do These Mean to You?

Do you know someone whom has prediabetes, Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, Gestational Diabetes? Have you had one of these or do you know someone whom has? The answer is probably yes for an overwhelming number of people. As a Certified Diabetes Educator, I receive a lot of questions over the years regarding diabetes education. Many times, I'm explaining myths and actual facts that newly diagnosed or even people with long term diabetes history are told. As much as our family and friends and sometimes medical professionals want to help us, this can be detrimental to our health if they are not up to date with the latest evidence based research for diabetes. So, first of all, I want to provide the definitions of these to make sure we are all thinking of these disease processes in the same way.

Here is a visual guide to understanding what your specific blood glucose level means. If you need more information, keep reading! Still needing guidance and accountability? Contact me!

-Prediabetes: If you have prediabetes, your fasting blood glucose (what your "blood sugar or blood glucose" is right when you wake up, before eating or drinking anything) is 100mg/dl to 125 mg/dl. Can Prediabetes have serious consequences on your health? Yes, if you do nothing, the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes is very probable and highly likely.

After all, Prediabetes is the 1st warning sign you may have to help you adjust your lifestyle habits (foods you eat and exercise regimen). So, should you avoid the diagnosis of Prediabetes or "a little bit of sugar" as I've heard it incorrectly mentioned? Or, have you been told your blood glucose isn't normal, but borderline? These are all ways of calling Prediabetes something besides prediabetes.

What do you do with this diagnosis? Seek treatment from your physician, nurse, and registered dietitian nutritionist whom is also a certified diabetes educator. It isn't too early to check your blood glucose with Prediabetes. Also, you don't have to be as strict such as carb counting as you do with diabetes, but you need to lose 5-7% of your weight if overweight, exercise more, and eat less. Sound difficult? Contact me today at 269-369-2347 to schedule your appointment. Some insurance companies will pay for medical nutrition therapy visits (the nutrition counseling a registered dietitian nutritionist can provide) for Prediabetes.

Why do you need to pay attention to Prediabetes? Because with Prediabetes, you can already be at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Let's stop diabetes before it stops you!

-Type 1 diabetes: Type 1 diabetes can occur in children and adults, but it is typically diagnosed in children or early adults. There are always exceptions. With type 1 diabetes: you have to be on insulin to stay healthy. The key is matching your insulin to your carbohydrate ratio.

-Type 2 diabetes: This is the most common type of diabetes. This now occurs in children and adults. If you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you had to have a fasting blood glucose level of 126mg/dl on 2 separate occasions. Or, you had to have symptoms such as urinating frequently, extremely thirsty, etc. with a random glucose check of 200mg/dl or more on two separate occasions. Checking your blood glucose and carbohydrate counting are the keys for optimum health. Also, you may need medication to keep your diabetes under control. Your beta cell function has usually been decllining on average of 10 years prior to your type 2 diagnosis. That is why earlier diagnosis is the key to unlocking your health and helping you control diabetes, not letting it control you.

-Gestational Diabetes-Can only occur during pregnancy so men, you wouldn't have this! When women are pregnant, you are more susceptible to insulin resistance. In order to protect yourself and your baby, keeping your blood glucose within the pregnancy guidelines is the key to your safety and health.

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