National Diabetes Month

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, providing an opportunity of advocates across the country to raise awareness for the disease. The focus this year is on prevention as well as prediabetes.

Prediabetes means your blood sugars are higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes. Without lifestyle changes, adults and children with prediabetes are likely to develop type 2 diabetes. According to the CDC, more than 1 in 3 U.S. adults have prediabetes—that’s 34.5% of the adult US population people. A majority of people don’t even realize they have it.

Luckily by making small healthy lifestyle changes, it is possible to prevent type 2 diabetes and even reverse your prediabetes. These lifestyle changes are healthy for all of us, regardless of diabetes status!

Here are some tips to help manage prediabetes and prevent diabetes.

  • Make small changes: Making changes to your lifestyle and daily habits can be hard, but you don’t have to change everything at once. It is okay to start small. Remember that setbacks are normal and do not mean you have failed—the key is to get back on track as soon as you can.
  • Get moving: Limit time spent sitting and try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity, 5 days a week. Start slowly by getting three 10 minute walks throughout the day.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced plate: Try to choose mostly high fiber plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains with moderate servings of protein at each meal. Drink water instead of sweetened drinks. Speak to a Registered Dietitian if you need more guidance on specifics for you.
  • Lose weight: Losing just 5-7% of your total body weight is a proven effective way to help prevent or delay diabetes. Speak to your dietitian or doctor if you need help.
  • Get support: It is possible to reverse prediabetes. Making a plan, tracking your progress, and getting support from your doctor, dietitian, and loved ones can help you make the necessary lifestyle changes.
  • Stay up to date on vaccinations: Vaccines are especially important for people with diabetes, who may be more likely to get very sick from the flu, COVID-19 or complications from these conditions.