Interview with Patrick Johnson, RD, at Open Door Health Center
Being diagnosed with prediabetes can seem overwhelming. According to Patrick Johnson, the registered dietician at Open Door Health Center, a prediabetes diagnosis can increase your chances for other health complications if left untreated. Yet it is still manageable. There are several steps you can take to lower your blood glucose levels and prevent the onset of diabetes.
- Make regular visits with your healthcare provider. It is important to have your blood glucose levels monitored regularly; your provider may also prescribe medications to help manage your levels.
- Prioritize nutrition. Knowing what kinds of foods to cut back on can be confusing. Instead of cutting out entire food groups, start by reducing your intake of high sugar and low nutrient foods. Adding nutrient dense foods such as fruits and vegetables while cutting back on calorie dense foods like soda or candy is a good place to start. A dietician can work with you to help you decide what dietary changes can be made.
- Add physical activity to your day. 150 minutes a week is recommended, but breaking it up into smaller time chunks throughout the week to fit your lifestyle can provide the same benefits. Taking a walk with your significant other, playing outside with your children, or going for a bike ride are all activities that are conducive to cardiovascular health and can help lower your blood glucose levels.
Celebrate all of your small victories. Any change you make, even if that means drinking 2 cans of soda a day instead of 4, is a step in the right direction. Be patient with yourself, and make changes where you can. All bodies are different, finding a lifestyle that fits your goals is best determined by you and your provider. Remember that perfection is impossible, but sustainability is.
Open Door Health Center is a federally qualified health center and has been providing quality medical, dental, and behavioral health care to the greater Mankato area for 25 years. Whether you have private insurance, high-deductible insurance, state aid or no insurance at all — Open Door offers affordable health care that you and your family deserve. Free legal help, assistance with insurance enrollment, and referral to resources for basic living needs (food, shelter, safety) are other services offered at Open Door. Whether you visit our clinic in Mankato or Jordan, our door is always open to you.