Don't Ignore Prediabetes and Diabetes Warning Signs

Jun 20, 2024

Reading time: 4 Minutes

You can think of your health as an ongoing journey down one road or another. There are times when all the signs and signals are recommending that we need to make a U-turn before we get completely off track.


Since diabetes is a progressive disease that starts off slowly, it can be looked at as a long road, and according to the 2024 ADA Standards of Care in Diabetes, there are various proven “exits” for making U-turns.


Look to the person on your left and to the person on your right. Odds are one of them (or you) has pre-diabetes. And furthermore, they may not be aware that they have it because there are no symptoms until extensive damage has already been done. Scary, huh?


Why are so many Americans struggling with elevated blood sugar levels you may ask? Let’s take a look at the known risk factors and recommendations according to the 2024 ADA Standards of Care in Diabetes:

  • Body Fat

    The more fatty tissue you have — especially visceral adipose tissue around your abdomen — the more resistant your cells become to insulin.

  • Body Fat Distribution

    Measurements such as waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, and/or waist-to-height ratio are key indicators of risk. The risk of insulin resistance goes up for men with waists larger than 40 inches and for women with waists larger than 35 inches.

  • Poor Diet

    Eating a low fiber diet, high in processed foods, and drinking sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with a higher risk of prediabetes.

  • Sedentary Lifestyle

    The less active you are, the greater your risk of prediabetes.

  • Family history

    Your risk of prediabetes increases if you have a parent with type 2 diabetes.

  • Gestational diabetes

    If you had diabetes while pregnant, you are at higher risk of developing prediabetes later.

  • Over Age 35

    The risk of prediabetes increases after age 35. *The 2024 ADA Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes advises screening all adults aged 35 years and older regardless of risk factors, and adults of any age who are overweight or obese with one or more risk factors. 


So what’s the big deal if you have prediabetes anyway? You may feel okay at the moment and not notice any harm being done. But before you dismiss this as “no big deal” take a look at this alarming fact:


Up to 70% of individuals with prediabetes will eventually develop Type 2 Diabetes, and without preventative interventions such as healthy eating and physical activity, many will progress to Type 2 Diabetes within 5 years!


 diabetes complications

Make a U-Turn

Think of prediabetes as a yellow warning light coming on, warning you that something needs to be fixed or there will be a serious breakdown.


If you or someone you know has prediabetes, the good news is that you can make a U-turn! I know continuing straight ahead with the cruise control set is much easier than making the effort to change directions, but by picking just one new habit to work on at a time you can see significant and meaningful changes in your health.


Take the next exit, and follow a new road by making these simple changes outlined below:

  • Exercise daily—both aerobic and strength exercises are important for short- and long-term blood glucose management. Aim for at least 30-minutes per day.


  • Consume a high-fiber diet rich in vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole intact grains, nuts, and seeds.


  • Limit intake of saturated fats and fatty meats.


  • Minimize the consumption of processed foods, added sugar, refined carbohydrates, and sugary beverages. See more details on specific diabetes diet updates here.


  • Eat small, balanced meals that are well-spaced across the day.


  • Drink water to stay well hydrated.


  • Move around for 10-15 minutes after eating main meals.


  • Get adequate sleep, and keep a consistent sleeping schedule.


  • Work with a dietitian health coach and your doctor to get personalized care as you make sustainable lifestyle changes that will result in proper weight management.

 Check engine light

Don’t Delay!

Diabetes is a progressive disease. The quicker you make changes and maintain those changes, the better success you will have in preventing long-term artery, nerve, and organ damage.


Becoming aware of all the warning signs and exit points (aka, lifestyle changes), the better roadmap you will have to prevent going down the long and dangerous road to Type 2 Diabetes. Is it time for you to make a U-turn?


If you are a Medi-Share member struggling with diabetes, we would love to help! Please schedule a call with a Health Coach or Registered Nurse from your Member Center home page.

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