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Sinclair Cares: How early stages of diabetes can be reversed

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62-year-old Bonnie Shockey is trying martial arts to kick-start her body into processing blood sugars normally.

Reporter: Did you get concerned you might get full-blown diabetes?

Bonnie: I've always been concerned about it, especially after watching what my father went through with vision and feeling.

The statistics are startling: one in three Americans is prediabetic and 90 percent don't realize it, according to the CDC.

"We have a lot of people walking around with prediabetes who have no idea they are at risk for diabetes," said dietitian and diabetes educator Stacy Eilers.

Prediabetes is defined as a fasting blood sugar level of 100 to 125, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Rising sugar levels approaching 100 and weight gain detected during a doctor visit prompted Bonnie into action.

Bonnie: Getting a handle on this is really important.

"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 the retiree's 60-pound weight loss.

Stacy: We believe in that pre-stage you can backup, but once you get to diabetes it's there with you forever. But, you can back up prediabetes and reverse it.

Reporter: And not have to go on insulin?

Stacy: Correct.

Reporter: How do you feel?

Bonnie: I feel good; I just came from a workout. How do I look?

"She's doing everything she needs to do to make those lifestyle changes," said Eilers.

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.

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