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Learn About Prediabetes & Diabetes


Prediabetes is a condition during which blood sugar levels are higher than usual, but not quite as high to be Type 2 diabetes. This serious condition is caused when your cells don’t respond normally to insulin, causing more insulin to be made by the pancreas in attempt to get a response. Eventually the pancreas cannot keep up, and your blood sugar rises, leading to prediabetes. About 96 million American adults have prediabetes and of those, more than 80% are unaware that they have it. Prediabetes increases your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Type 2 Diabetes

More than 37 million Americans have diabetes and 90-95% of them have Type 2 diabetes. Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas that allows blood sugar into the cells in your body for energy use. During Type 2 diabetes, cells don’t respond typically to insulin, otherwise known as insulin resistance. Insulin resistance leads to high blood sugar which results in Type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar damages the body and causes other serious health issues, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.

Take the Prediabetes Risk Test

Symptoms of Diabetes

Symptoms can often develop over an extended period of time and can go on for many years without being noticed. Sometimes there are no noticeable symptoms at all. Since symptoms can be difficult to catch, it is crucial to know the risk factors and test your blood sugar if you are subject to any of the factors.
Noticeable Symptoms may include:
  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased hunger
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Frequent infections
  • Numbness or tingling in hands or feet
  • Areas of darkened skin, typically in the armpits and neck

View the common Risk Factors

Managing Diabetes

Unlike most other health conditions, diabetes is managed mostly by you, with support from your health care team and other important people in your life. You may be able to manage your diabetes with a healthy diet and frequent exercise, or you may be prescribed insulin from your doctor, other injectable medications, or oral diabetes medicines to help regulate your blood sugar and avoid difficulties. You still need to eat healthy and remain active if you take insulin or other medicines.
Check your blood sugar on a regular basis. Your doctor will advise how often your blood sugar should be checked and what your target blood sugar levels should be. Keeping your blood sugar levels as close to target as possible is imperative in preventing or delaying complications.

Other Lifestyle Changes to Make:

  • Stress Management: Stress is a part of life, but it can serve as an obstacle in managing diabetes, especially when it comes to keeping your blood sugar levels where they need to be and dealing with daily diabetes care. Daily physical activity, getting enough sleep, and relaxation exercises can help minimize stress. Talk to your Lifestyle Coach about these and other ways you can manage stress.
  • Portion Sizes: Overdoing it on portions can directly affect your blood sugar which is why controlling your portion sizes during meals is important. Overeating can also lead to weight gain, which is even riskier for people with Type 2 diabetes. Portion control helps you to eat according to what your body actually needs.
  • Exercise: Remaining physically active helps counter the effects of Type 2 diabetes in a few ways and can even help people avoid long-term complications. Exercise lowers blood glucose levels and boosts your body’s insulin sensitivity, fighting insulin resistance. In addition, exercise contributes to weight loss.
  • Carb Intake: For people with prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes, consuming simple carbs can cause a rise in blood glucose levels quickly. Carbs are broken down into glucose to fuel your cells, and the blood sugar level rises. Counting grams of carbohydrate, and splitting them evenly between meals, will help you control your blood sugar. In some cases, planning out meals with fewer simple carbs and more complex carbs is better for you because your body takes longer to digest the complex carbs, giving you steady energy and fiber.
  • Simple carbs are foods like fruits, milk, and milk products.
    Complex carbs are foods like beans, nuts, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Hydrate with Water: Drinking plenty of water helps reduce your blood sugar levels by pumping up your blood volume. In addition, healthy amount of water-intake can combat the dehydration that is caused by excess urination from high glucose levels.
  • For most adults, 6 to 10 cups of water are recommended each day.

Working Together To Prevent
Diabetes in Eastern North Carolina