Prediabetes and its risk factors

By Dee Griffin

Prediabetes is a term that is used when blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Think of it as a warning that diabetes is just around the corner if you don’t do something about it. Risk factors for prediabetes include being overweight, large waist size, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, family history and age. Women who have a history of gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at an increased risk of diabetes later in life.

Your provider may start you on medications to lower your blood sugar. Metformin is typically prescribed for people with prediabetes. This medicine works by helping the body to make less glucose and use insulin more effectively which results in lower blood sugar levels. Keep in mind that medication alone is not enough. You must do your part by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Being proactive at this point will result in decreasing your risk of complications from diabetes such as increased risk of cardiovascular issues (stroke, peripheral artery disease, heart issues), nerve damage, kidney damage, eye damage, and skin issues.

Changing lifestyle habits is the number one way to help with this condition. Change to healthy eating habits such as increasing your non-starchy vegetables, changing your carbohydrates to healthier choices, and incorporating lean protein sources. Limit your intake of saturated and trans fats and instead opt for healthier fats such as olive oil, and avocado. Start participating in regular physical activity. Exercise can help lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity which will help your body use glucose more effectively. Weight loss of 5-10 percent can reduce your risk of developing diabetes.

Dee Anne Griffin owns Dynamic Health Solutions, LLC and is a Family Nurse Practitioner. She has worked in the medical field for more than 20 years. She listens and recommends different options to create a unique plan that fits each individual. When not practicing medicine Griffin spends time on her family farm tending to her animals and is very active in her church. Contact her at 803-454-1661. Her offices are located at 169 A Medical Circle, West Columbia.