Diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases in the United States. It is characterized by the inability of the body to produce sufficient amounts of the chemical insulin, and is caused by any of a number of factors, from genetic predisposition to lifestyle choices like diet.
Doctors diagnose diabetes based on fasting blood glucose levels. Any glucose level of 126 mg/dl or higher is considered diabetic. But even lower levels can indicate a dangerously high sugar level.
Pre-diabetes or borderline diabetes is defined as a blood glucose level of between 100 and 125 mg/dl, and puts a person at much greater risk of developing full-blown diabetes.
It's imperative, then, that at-risk persons know how to treat borderline diabetes to prevent the condition from getting any worse.
- Assess Your Risk
Ask your doctor to schedule a blood test to get exact readings of your fasting blood glucose levels. For a treatment program to be most effective, it should be based on your particular case, so having an exact number can help you plan the best options for you.
- Work with Your Doctor
Many cases of borderline diabetes are the result of a person's being overweight. Your doctor can help you establish a safe exercise routine to lose excess weight. Depending on your current level of fitness, even a five percent decrease in weight can have wide-ranging, positive effects on your health.
- Hire a Nutritionist
It is critically important that you find ways to control your blood sugar levels. One of the easiest ways to do this is also the most overlooked; modifying your diet can have profound, fast-acting consequences. A nutritionist will be able to help you devise a diet plan that lowers your overall sugar consumption while still ensuring that you are receiving all the vital nutrients you need.
- Stay Active
Exercise improves nearly every aspect of your physical condition. Aerobic exercise in particular can help you lose weight and has been shown to improve cardiovascular health. Look for activities that you can do and that you enjoy, but which also challenge you and provide a decent workout. Good choices include swimming, running, and bicycling.
- Monitor Other Health Factors
Diabetes and borderline diabetes will often co-occur with other conditions like hypertension or high cholesterol. Make sure that you identify any conditions that might be present alongside your pre-diabetes, and take steps to address those problems, as well.
Diabetes is a serious and often life-altering condition, but if you understand how to treat borderline diabetes before it progresses too far, you can save yourself many years of unnecessary poor health.