prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, Registered Dietitian, diet, weight loss, couples, ripple effect, very-low calorie diet, VLCD, Bon Secours Weight Loss InstituteHeart disease. Kidney failure. Blindness. Most people understand the serious health risks that come with having type 2 diabetes.

But what about prediabetes? Is it something to worry about?

Health authorities say prediabetes, a serious health condition, is an opportunity to avoid type 2 diabetes. It’s a window of time when losing weight and making lifestyle changes can steer you away from developing diabetes – the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

Roughly 85 million American adults – more than one out of 3 — have prediabetes, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of them – 90 percent – are unaware they have it.

If you have prediabetes, it means that unless you lose weight and eat healthier foods, you will likely develop type 2 diabetes within five years. Prediabetes also puts you at a higher risk for heart disease and stroke.

The good news is that studies show losing just 5 to 7 percent of your body weight can help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. So, if you weigh around 200 pounds, you’d need to lose 10 to 15 pounds.

Your health provider can tell you if you have prediabetes. You can also take an online screening test to gauge your level of risk.

At Bon Secours, you can work with a Registered Dietitian to learn how to make nutritional changes that make a difference in your blood sugar levels. You can learn to eat less of the foods that increase your diabetes risk while identifying other foods that are healthier choices.

Bon Secours also offers individualized weight-loss programs to help you lose weight and keep it off. While some people only need to change their eating habits and exercise regularly, others might benefit the most from weight-loss surgery.

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