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Diabetes and prediabetes: What to know

 

Living with diabetes isn't always easy. If you feel overwhelmed, it's important to get help and to take steps to feel better. Here are some ideas from the American Association of Diabetes Educators:

Speak up. Tell your doctor, nurse or diabetes educator how you're feeling. They can help find out if you have diabetes distress or burnout—perhaps by having you fill out a diabetes distress assessment. They can help you pinpoint its causes and offer ways to cope.

Seek support. It may help to talk to someone who has diabetes or to a counselor. Or you might consider joining a support group.

Accept imperfections. No one is perfect 100% of the time when it comes to managing diabetes. It's helpful to remember that.

Ask others not to judge you. Your friends and family love you and want you to be healthy. But if you feel like they're putting too much pressure on you about taking care of your diabetes, suggest other ways they can help.

Prediabetes: Three things to keep in mind

Prediabetes is a condition that also affects millions of Americans. Here are three things you need to know about prediabetes to help protect your health:

1. It isn't the same as diabetes, yet. Prediabetes is a warning that type 2 diabetes is on its way. If you're told you have prediabetes, your blood sugar (glucose) level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be type 2 diabetes. If your glucose level continues to go up and you don't take steps to bring it down, you may develop diabetes.

2. You could have it but not know it. Your doctor may suggest that you be tested if you're 45 years of age or older. Even if you're younger, your doctor may want you to get tested if you are overweight and have other risk factors, like if you have a family history of diabetes; are African American, Asian American or Hispanic/Latino; have high blood pressure; or are not physically active.

3. Small steps can go a long way toward reversing it. Prediabetes can often be turned around with lifestyle changes. Losing some weight, exercising regularly, and eating less fat and calories can help.

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