I have Been Diagnosed with Prediabetes, Now What?
Being diagnosed with type II diabetes doesn’t happen overnight. There’s often a slow, invisible lead up period called prediabetes. Blood sugar levels are higher during this period but not quite high enough to show symptoms or to be classified as diabetes.
What Does my Diagnosis Mean?
One can have prediabetes and not show any signs or symptoms. But prediabetes is an important warning sign for patients to reverse course from the path of an otherwise preventable disease that carries many lifelong implications.
Diabetes affects most major organs in the body, resulting in increased risk of heart disease, kidney failure, blindness, and/or nerve damage. Prediabetes means that you still have time to implement changes such as weight loss, regular exercise, or diet changes to lower your risk. Sometimes metformin or other drugs may be prescribed to delay the onset of diabetes.
What’s the Concern with Prediabetes?
Roughly twenty five percent of Canadian adults have prediabetes with twenty five percent of those patients developing type II diabetes in three to five years, and fifty percent in their lifetime.
Prediabetes is an opportunity to implement strategies that can prevent many people from ever getting diabetes. Having a prediabetes diagnosis is a good thing as you have an opportunity to be in control of your health outcomes by taking action. These actions will not only help you reduce your chances of developing diabetes but also things like heart attack and stroke amongst others.
Prediabetes = Prevent Diabetes
The impact of prediabetes largely depends on the attitude and behaviour after diagnosis. Since many patients are asymptomatic at this stage, you may not notice any effects from this condition at all. However, this news is important because poor screening practices lead to most patients missing this critical period of prevention. As such, it is important to take control of your wellbeing and implement healthy changes and monitoring strategies. Trust me when I say living with prediabetes is far easier than living with diabetes.
It is important to recognize that there are many factors in developing diabetes including modifiable (diet, exercise, lifestyle choices, etc.) and non-modifiable (family history, age, gender, etc.). It’s important to focus on modifiable factors such as weight loss, exercise, diet and lifestyle changes and monitoring your condition, since you are unable to change your non-modifiable risk factors.
Looking for additional help in managing your prediabetes condition? Questions about medications or strategies? Check out Well.ca Pharmacy’s Custom Diabetes Care appointments to learn more about the individualized support a pharmacist can provide in managing your diagnosis and taking control of your health.
Leandro has 6+ years of pharmacy experience and specialized training in topics such as diabetes and arthritis. Equipping patients with the appropriate drug knowledge to meaningfully assist them in their healthcare journey is his ultimate goal.