Sinclair Cares: Reversing pre-diabetes before the damage is done
Studies show more than 30 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes.
Those people are at higher risk for other ailments.
Working in partnership with our parent company, Sinclair Broadcast Group, we want to keep you informed about important health matters.
In this Sinclair Cares report, Jay Siltzer shows you how early stages of diabetes can be reversed.
Bonnie Shockey, 62, is trying martial arts to kickstart her body into processing blood sugars normally.
"I've always been concerned about it, especially after watching what my father went through with vision and feeling."
The statistics are startling: 1 in 3 Americans is prediabetic, and 90 percent don't realize it.
"We have a lot of people walking around with prediabetes who have no idea they are at risk for diabetes," said Stacy Eilers, a dietitian and diabetes educator.
Prediabetes is defined as a fasting blood sugar level of 100 to 125.
Rising sugar levels approaching 100 and weight gain detected during a doctor visit prompted Shockey into action.
"Getting a handle on this is really important," she said.
"I know not everyone eats a lot of fruit, and that's OK as long as you're loading up on vegetables," said Eilers.
Nutrition education started Shockey's 60-pound weight loss.
"I just decided it was time to eat healthier and get rid of a few things, and my problems started reversing themselves," she said.
"We believe in that pre-stage you can back up, but once you get to diabetes it's there with you forever," Eilers told us. "But you can back up prediabetes and reverse it."
"I feel good," Shockey said. "I just came from a workout. How do I look?"
She's doing everything she needs to do to make those lifestyle changes. She's still kicking without medication, keeping her blood sugar level around 85, all while reducing her chances for cardiovascular disease, kidney ailments and Alzheimer's, all of which are linked to Type 2 diabetes.
For those on the path to reversing prediabetes, experts recommend at least two and a half hours of moderate to vigorous exercise each week.