This ONE thing turns prediabetes to diabetes in just two weeks

Millions of Americans are teetering over a dangerous precipice…

They have high blood sugar. Not quite high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. But close.

They have prediabetes. And, though there are signs and symptoms, most don’t recognize them until it’s too late.

How do you know if you’re one of them?

Get your blood sugar tested. To be diagnosed with prediabetes, your fasting blood sugar has to be between 100 and 125 mg/dL (5.6 – 7.0 mmol/L). And your A1C level (your average blood sugar level for two to three months) has to be between 5.7 and 6.4 percent.

Once you know that you are prediabetic, take healthy living very seriously. Because if you have prediabetes and you slack off on your healthy lifestyle, you could make the transition to type 2 diabetes quickly.

In fact, a recent study found that if you stay sedentary for just two weeks, you’ll soon find yourself deep in type 2 diabetes territory. And it may not be so easy to turn back around once you get there.

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Movement matters in prediabetes

Researchers from McMaster University in Canada recently found that taking two weeks off from movement is dangerous when you have prediabetes.

In the study, researchers asked older, overweight adults with prediabetes to limit their daily activity to just 1,000 steps per day. That’s about how much exercise someone would get if they were housebound due to an injury or illness.

After two weeks of moving very little, these people found themselves with blood sugar readings that would warrant a full-fledged diabetes diagnosis.

Researchers weren’t surprised that cutting down on activity led to diabetes for these people. Exercise has a huge impact on blood sugar levels. But they were surprised by something else…

After people returned to their normal activities, their blood sugar levels didn’t go back down. That means diabetes is a lot easier for people with prediabetes to develop than it is for them to get rid of.

So, take prediabetes seriously, folks. Once you fall off that type 2 diabetes precipice, you may have a heck of a time crawling your way back out.

What to do if you have prediabetes

There’s a lot you can do to prevent prediabetes from turning into type 2 diabetes. Changing your diet and exercise habits are most important. But there are certain changes that seem to make more of a difference.

For example, studies show that low-carb diets can turn around high blood sugar, insulin resistance and weight issues. Low-calorie diets and intermittent fasting are proven to do that too.

Like most chronic diseases, stress also has a hand in prediabetics and diabetics. So, take time to destress through things like meditation and yoga. And treat yourself to a stress-relieving treat every once in a while, like massage, acupuncture, reflexology or aromatherapy.

If you’re dealing with blood sugar issues, you should also get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. As we’ve seen from this study, sedentary living is a surefire way to go from prediabetic to diabetic… alarmingly quickly.

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Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine, TheFix.com, Hybridcars.com and Seedstock.com.