(KUTV)- Prediabetes affects more than 84 million Americans. If you were recently diagnosed, there are ways to prevent it from developing into type 2 diabetes.
“People with prediabetes condition are at far greater risk of diabetes, “says Dr. Liz Joy with Intermountain Healthcare.
According Intermountain Healthcare, one in three adults have prediabetes in the United States. Nearly 70% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years of diagnosis.
“It's a very common condition but what is really important is that it is preventable,” says Dr. Joy.
There are some simple lifestyle changes you can make and for many people, it begins with weight loss. A 5% weight loss is associated with a nearly 60% reduction in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A 10% weight loss can reduce the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes by 85%.
“That's almost as good as an immunization, a little bit better than our flu shot some years,” says Dr. Joy.
You can also prevent type 2 diabetes by increasing your physical activity and improving your diet. Dr. Joy suggests following the Mediterranean diet. There is also diabetes prevention medication you can talk with your doctor about prescribing.
If you want help, there are programs you can attend to prevent type 2 diabetes. The Center for Disease Control developed a program that can be taken in a group class setting or online. There are 16 classes over the span of four to six months. There will then be monthly follow-ups with a health coach, diabetes educator or dietitian. Insurance covers the cost of the diabetes prevention program in most cases.
If your weight is a little higher than it should be, if you have a family history of type 2 diabetes or if you experienced gestational diabetes while pregnant, you should go to your primary care doctor for a screening.
“Diabetes is absolutely preventable in most cases,” says Dr. Joy.