By Peggy Moreland, R.N., C.D.E
Having diabetes is no big deal. Or is it? A man in one of my diabetes classes say that he wishes that what he knows now, he knew back when first diagnosed with diabetes.
He gets concerned when he hears friends or family members who are newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes make a comment that it's no big deal, they can just take a pill for it. He is correct when he says it's a big deal.
Often, we hear people say that they have borderline diabetes or a touch of diabetes. More than likely, if you have type 2 diabetes, you had pre-diabetes before diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. You didn't realize it because there are no clear symptoms. The only way to know if you have pre-diabetes is a blood test.
Pre-diabetes is serious because it increases your risk for heart disease and other diabetes complications. Having pre-diabetes also increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but the good news is, early treatment ( usually diet and lifestyle changes) can return blood glucoses levels to normal range
The gentleman that I mentioned earlier wishes that he'd taken diabetes more seriously when he was first diagnosed because he's now dealing with complications of diabetes.
Whether you have pre-diabetes or have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, making lifestyle changes can prevent or delay diabetes complications.
If you're overweight or obese and have pre-diabetes, losing just 5-10 percent of your body weight will reduce your risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent. If you have diabetes, losing weight will decrease or delay risk of diabetes complications.
Follow a healthy diet that is low in fat and sugar and get regular exercise. It will keep you physically strong and healthy, help reduce stress and help with blood glucose control.
Peggy Moreland is a certified diabetes educator (C.D.E.) in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Nutrition & Metabolism at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
Peggy graduated with a Master of Science in Nursing and Health Care Education from the University of Phoenix and is a member of the American Association of Diabetes Educators and the American Diabetes Association. A certified diabetes educator (C.D.E.), Peggy enjoys working with patients to set and achieve diabetes self-management goals