Metabolic Syndrome and Prediabetes
One trait of metabolic syndrome is an increased level of sugar (glucose) in the blood. This can also be a sign of prediabetes. When you have prediabetes, your risk of getting diabetes increases. Your chance for heart disease and stroke goes up, too. But, you can help control and maybe reverse prediabetes by making some basic lifestyle changes.
When It’s Prediabetes
Insulin is a hormone that helps cells turn glucose into energy. When the body’s cells don’t use insulin well, 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 prediabetes if your fasting glucose result ranges from 100 to 125 mg/dL, or your glucose tolerance result ranges from 140 to 199 mg/dL. The hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) test measures how high your blood glucose has been over the past several months. Prediabetes is also diagnosed in adults when HbA1C levels are 5.7% to 6.4%. A1Cs below 5.7% are considered normal. Diabetes is diagnosed when two A1C results are greater than or equal to 6.5%. However, the A1C test results can vary among laboratories and between tests. The relationship of A1C to fasting blood glucose may vary among ethnic groups. Therefore, your healthcare provider may recommend a fasting blood sugar to confirm a diagnosis based upon A1C results.
What You Can Do
Many people with insulin resistance are overweight and carry extra fat around the waist. Often, they don’t get enough exercise. 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 prediabetes and may reduce your diabetes risk. You may even be able to get your glucose level back into the normal range. The following tips can help:
Talk with your healthcare provider about starting an exercise routine.
Build up to moderate-level exercise for an average of 40 minutes, 3 to 4 times a week.
If you’re overweight, aim to lose 5% to 10% of your body weight gradually.
Eat your usual foods, just in smaller amounts.
Limit your fat intake. Less than 28% of your daily calories is ideal. 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 at least once each year to see whether it has changed.