Managing Prediabetes

Prediabetes is a condition characterized by elevated blood sugar levels that are not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Treatment and monitoring of diabetes has been growing considerably in the ARTA Benefit Plans over the past few years, and costs associated with diabetes ranked as the number one most expensive disease state in 2022. In fact, 13.4% of overall Extended Health Care costs in 2022 were related to diabetes. Being familiar with the signs of prediabetes may help you prevent them from developing into Type 2 Diabetes in the future.

Prediabetes is a crucial stage where proactive lifestyle changes can prevent the progression to full-blown Type 2 Diabetes. Adopting a holistic approach to wellness becomes paramount for those managing prediabetes. Here are some practical tips to help you take charge of your health and prevent the onset of diabetes.

  • Balanced Nutrition: Start by focusing on a well-balanced diet. Choose whole, unprocessed foods with a mix of lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Emphasize vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins in your meals to ensure a nutrient-rich diet.
  • Portion Control: Be mindful of portion sizes. Use smaller plates and listen to your body's hunger and fullness cues. Portion control can help regulate calorie intake and stabilize blood sugar levels.
  • Regular Physical Activity: Engage in regular exercise to help your body use insulin more effectively. Aim for at least thirty minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity five times per week, such as brisk walking, swimming, or cycling, along with strength training exercises at least twice a week.
  • Hydration: Stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Proper hydration is essential for overall health and can support metabolic processes, helping to manage blood sugar levels.
  • Stress Management: Chronic stress can contribute to elevated blood sugar levels. Incorporate stress-reducing activities into your routine, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or hobbies that bring you joy. Prioritizing mental well-being is a crucial aspect of managing prediabetes.
  • Adequate Sleep: Quality sleep is essential for overall health and well-being. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night to support your body's ability to regulate blood sugar and maintain a healthy metabolism.
  • Regular Monitoring: Keep track of your blood sugar levels as recommended by your physician. Regular monitoring helps you understand how your lifestyle changes impact your health and allows for timely adjustments if needed.
  • Educate Yourself: Knowledge is empowering. November is Diabetes Awareness month in Canada, and there are many resources available. The Diabetes Canada website is a great place to start:
    Learn about prediabetes, its risk factors, and the impact of lifestyle choices. Understanding the condition can motivate you to make positive changes and take control of your health.
  • Social Support: Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends, family, or a health-focused community. Sharing your journey with others can provide motivation, encouragement, and accountability.

Managing prediabetes is a journey that involves making sustainable lifestyle changes. By incorporating these wellness tips into your daily routine, you can slow down, or completely prevent the progression to diabetes while also enhancing your overall well-being.