Prediabetes and Latinas: It’s Better to Know
At De Las Mías we are paying extra attention to prediabetes and Latinas. By now you have probably figured out that if you are Latina, overweight, and have a mother, father, sister or brother with diabetes, you should get checked for prediabetes.
We want to encourage you to take the prediabetes quiz. If you answered yes to more than 3 of the questions on the quiz, it’s a good idea to go to your doctor or clinic and get checked for prediabetes. This falls into the category of “it’s better to know.” Es mejor saber.
We’ve seen the research and it’s clear. You can prevent or delay diabetes and finding out you have prediabetes serves as a wake-up call.
We put together at Prediabetes Cheat Sheet for you to keep handy. Share this with your sisters, brothers, comadres and friends.
Remember, It’s Better to Know – “Es mejor saber.”
Prediabetes Cheat Sheet
What is prediabetes? Prediabetes is having blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not quite high enough to have it be diagnosed as diabetes.
- Almost all people with diabetes started with prediabetes.
- If your doctor has told you that you have prediabetes, you should take it seriously without panicking.
- Having prediabetes puts you at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other conditions like hypertension and heart disease.
- Sometimes people call prediabetes “borderline” diabetes.
- Sometimes doctors call prediabetes “impaired glucose tolerance” or IGT, or impaired fasting glucose, which is IFG.
- No matter what they call it, don’t ignore it.
- There are no clear symptoms for prediabetes. You may have it and not know it.
- If you have been told you have prediabetes by a doctor, you should have your blood sugar checked for diabetes every one or two years.
Here are two kinds of tests your doctor might recommend if you want to get checked for prediabetes:
- A fasting blood test. You have your blood checked before getting anything in your stomach. If your blood sugar level is between 100 and 125, you have prediabetes. If your number is under 100, it is normal. If it is over 125, you may have diabetes.
- An A1C test — which is also a blood test that tells you how much sugar (glucose) has been in your blood over the last 3 months. Some doctors check your A1C if they suspect you have prediabetes and some don’t. If your A1c is between 5.7 and 6.4, you probably have prediabetes.
Preventing Type 2 Diabetes
Here are some encouraging words from our friends at the American Diabetes Association:
“You will not develop type 2 diabetes automatically if you have prediabetes. For some people with prediabetes, early treatment can actually return blood glucose levels to the normal range.”
Research shows that you can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes by 58% by:
- Losing 7% of your body weight (or 15 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds)
- Exercising moderately (such as brisk walking) 30 minutes a day, five days a week
Here are some good recommendations on reversing pre-diabetes. This is very much in line with De Las Mías Guidelines.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables! Use the De las Mías checklist to keep on track!
- Eat fish twice a week.
- Choose lean meats and remove the skin from chicken and turkey before cooking.
- Eat more plant-based protein like… ¡frijoles!
- Broil, roast, boil, steam, or bake instead of frying your food.
- Switch to olive oil or canola oil instead of lard, shortening or butter.
- Drink more water! Use our checklist to remind you to drink 6-8 glasses of water per day.
Here are some things to cut back on:
- Soft drinks with sugar.
- Fruit juice.
- Junk food.
- Added sugars, like you find in processed foods.
- High-fat and processed meats, like hot dogs, sausage, store-bought chorizo and bacon.
- Watch the trans fats. Read the labels on packaged foods.
- Alcohol. Limit to one drink per day if you are woman and 2 if you are a man.
Notice how similar these recommendations are to the De Las Mías – 9 Steps to Healthy Eating.
Use our magic checklist in the app and get your ¡Esos!
If you have been told you have prediabetes, consider it a golden opportunity.
There are some excellent, evidence-based and free classes in your community. Find a DPP class near you and consider taking the course.
And how about this idea? If you have other friends, comadres and family who have prediabetes, start your own support group.
And one more thing… Be kind to yourself. Get support. Give support. Join the De Las Mías community. ¡Acompáñanos!
¡Unidas for a Healthy Life!