One characteristic of metabolic syndrome is an increased level of glucose in the blood. This can also be a sign of pre-diabetes. When you have pre-diabetes, your risk of developing full-blown diabetes increases. Your chance of developing heart disease and stroke goes up, too. The good news is that you can help control and possibly reverse pre-diabetes by making some basic lifestyle changes.
When it’s pre-diabetes
Insulin is a hormone that helps cells turn glucose into energy. When the body’s cells don’t use insulin properly, the body doesn’t make enough insulin, or both, you have insulin resistance. It can cause glucose to build up in the blood.
Glucose levels are measured using a fasting glucose test or a glucose tolerance test. You have pre-diabetes if your fasting glucose result ranges from 100 to 125 mg/dl or your glucose tolerance result ranges from 140 to 199 mg/dl.
What you can do
Many people with insulin resistance carry excess dangerous fat around the waist or don’t get enough exercise. In addition, they tend to have a hard time controlling their cholesterol and blood pressure. For people with metabolic syndrome, controlling these health issues is essential to preventing diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Regular physical activity and weight loss can help improve the way your body uses insulin. That can help treat pre-diabetes and may reduce your diabetes risk greatly. You may even be able to get your glucose level back into the normal range. The following tips can help:
Talk with your health care provider about starting an exercise routine.
Build up to moderate-intensity exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days.
If you’re overweight, aim to lose 5 to 10 percent of your body weight gradually.
Eat your usual foods in smaller amounts.
Limit fat intake to less than 25 percent of your daily calories. Get healthy fats from plant sources such as nuts, eat little fat from animal meat, and avoid trans fat.
Also have your blood glucose rechecked in a year to see whether it has changed.