What Is Prediabetes?

Senior woman talking to her doctor about prediabetes
Type 2 diabetes doesn’t usually develop overnight. Most people first enter a stage called prediabetes, marked by elevated high blood sugar that’s not high enough to qualify as diabetes. About one-third of Americans have prediabetes, although more than 80 percent of them don’t know it, according to the CDC.

That’s a concerning stat, because people who have been diagnosed with prediabetes have about a 50 percent chance of developing type 2 diabetes in the next five to 10 years. However, there are steps you can take to lower your blood sugar levels and stop the progression.

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Reasons You’re Sweating That Have Nothing to Do With Working Out

A man sweating through his shirt at work

It’s Something You Ate

The last time you ate the red pepper from the Thai dish, you started sweating. Or maybe that steaming bowl of pho is making you take off your sweater. And for good reason: If you’re chowing down on something hot, your body temperature goes up and you sweat to bring it back down.

However, if you sweat excessively when sitting down to eat anything — including cold foods — it may be “gustatory sweating,” which can happen in response to the same health conditions that lead to hyperhidrosis.

It’s Your Medication

Some medications can act on certain parts of your brain and nervous system, ultimately triggering sweating. These include — but aren’t limited to — antidepressant medications, like SSRIs and trycyclic antidepressants, NSAIDs like naproxen, opioids, certain antibiotics and antivirals, corticosteroids, thyroid medication and insulin, according to DermNet NZ.

One clue that the sweating is from your meds: It tends to happen all over your body rather than centralized spots (e.g. only on hands or feet).

Your doctor may be able to change the dose, switch you to a different formulation or consider a new medication if perspiration is bothersome.

So, When Should You See Your Doctor?

Assuming you’re not concerned that you have an underlying medical problem, you may not need to seek help.

“If the sweating does not bother you and occurs after a specific trigger, you don’t necessarily have to do anything about the sweating,” Dr. Pantaleo says.

That said, if you have to change your shirt because you’re sweating through it or drip with sweat when people around you aren’t even glistening, then talk to your doctor about the possibility of hyperhidrosis, he advises.

And, more pressingly, if sweating occurs with red-flag symptoms — shortness of breath, chest pains, heart palpitations, headaches or dizziness — call 911. Breaking out into a cold sweat along with the above symptoms can indicate a heart attack.

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Reasons You’re Sweating That Have Nothing to Do With Working Out

A man sweating through his shirt at work

So, it makes a lot of sense that you sweat in the heat or during exercise, but there are occasions that produce perspiration that are truly head-scratching. Here’s the why behind the wetness and how to decrease the drips.

1. Everyday Life Stuff

You’re stressed about a work project that needs to get to your boss, like, yesterday. Or maybe your best friend just got great news and you’re both screaming over FaceTime together. All of these emotions can send your body temperature up so you start sweating, Dr. Pantaleo says.

That said, sweating — if it’s bothersome or problematic for you — can itself be a stressor, leading to (you guessed it) more stress and sweat. (And the cycle continues.)

“Controlling anxiety can help in this situation, especially working on relaxation techniques that cause less worry,” Dr. Pantaleo says.

2. Hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis is a condition marked by excessive sweating.

“Individuals with hyperhidrosis typically sweat about four to five times more than other individuals,” Dr. Pantaleo says.

What feels like out-of-control perspiration can occur on its own or be the result of a medical condition, explains the International Hyperhidrosis Society. (More on that below.)

It often starts before age 25, is frequently located on the hands, feet or underarms and episodes of sweating occur at least once a week.

There are effective treatments for hyperhidrosis, including certain antiperspirants and permanent, noninvasive procedures like miraDry, so it’s worth it to talk to your doctor.

3. It’s a Symptom of a Health Condition

Serious sweating that’s caused by a health condition usually starts in adulthood, often occurs when sleeping and the symptom can be the result of diabetes, menopause, hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), gout, rheumatoid arthritis or even lymphoma, according to the International Hyperhidrosis Society.

Seeking proper treatment for your condition will help relieve symptoms and help you feel better all around — including when it comes to sweating.

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If You’ve Had COVID-19, Do You Still Need to Get the Vaccine?

Mature man taking a COVID-19 vaccine from his doctor

1. You Could Get Sick Again Without It

First, even if you’ve dubbed yourself a COVID survivor, you might still be able to get sick again.

​Patients who have been infected with COVID-19 should still get the vaccine. We are not certain that a prior infection will lead to lifelong immunity. Current data suggests a prior infection could confer immunity for around six months,” says Michelle Prickett, MD, an associate professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago and a Northwestern Medicine pulmonary and critical care specialist.

While not common, there have been confirmed cases of people who have gotten reinfected with COVID-19. One report on a young man from Nevada, described in ​The Lancet Infectious Diseases​, noted the second infection was worse than the first, sending the patient to the hospital for oxygen.

So, even if you think you’re comfortable with risking it because your brush with COVID wasn’t that bad, that doesn’t mean a future illness would be a walk in the park.

2. There’s No Downside

Because of the uncertainty about how long immunity really lasts, Lisa Lee, PhD, research professor in the department of population health sciences at Virginia Tech, also recommends getting the vaccine even if you’ve had COVID-19 in the past, and stresses that it’s safe to do so.

There are several vaccines in development. Lee explains that while vaccine trials didn’t actively seek out and enroll people who had previously had COVID, some participants did actually have the infection before. (There were, after all, tens of thousands of people enrolled.)

Because of that, “in terms of safety, it’s not an issue to get vaccinated [after recovering from COVID-19], and it will certainly help prevent a person from becoming infected again,” she says (The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 95 percent effective.)

Typical reactions are similar to a flu vaccine, e.g. your arm gets sore from the needle prick. You might also get a fever or feel achy for a day or two after, a response that your immune system is queuing up and rightfully responding to the vaccine.

It doesn’t mean you got sick from the vaccine, Lee explains, but that your immune system is basically saying it’s ready to take on the virus.

3. Getting It Can Help Keep Others Safe

Important, too, is that by getting a vaccine, you’re helping save others.

As of October 2020, less than 10 percent of the world population had been infected with COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization. In other words? There are still so many people who could get severely ill and possibly die from the disease.

“One major purpose of vaccination is to protect people who can’t get the vaccine,” Lee says.

If enough people get vaccinated, this creates herd immunity, which is community protection. (The CDC has not predicted how much of the U.S. population will have to get vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity.)

“If the herd can’t get the infection, they can’t pass it along to vulnerable people,” Lee says. “Essentially, herd immunity creates a sort of [protective] donut around the vulnerable, where the infection can’t penetrate and get to them.”

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Mistakes That Make Your Face Mask Less Effective

New normal after coronavirus pandemic woman with trendy mask.

Mistake 1: Skipping Soap and Water (or Hand Sanitizer)

Before putting on your mask, the CDC recommends washing your hands, and, if you happen to touch the mask while you’re out, you should wash up again. If you’re dining out, you’ll have to remove your mask to eat, so don’t forget to bring along hand sanitizer.

Once you’re home, untie the strings or remove the ear loops from your ears, fold the outside corners of the face covering together and place the item in the laundry, per the CDC. And wash your hands immediately.

If you wear gloves — and, really, they’re not necessary if you’re running to the ATM or grocery shopping, per the CDC — remove them first, wash your hands and then remove your mask and wash your hands again.

Mistake 2: Not Washing Your Cloth Mask

“Would you wear the same pair of underwear over and over again?” Grabowski asks. (Eww, no!) The same is true of cloth masks, she says. Ideally, masks (and underwear) should be washed after every use

Alternatively, you can stretch out your laundering cycles with this hack: Buy seven masks, one for each day of the week, and hang them in a warm place after use, Dr. Milton suggests. By day eight, the first mask in the rotation will be ready to use again. SARS-CoV-2 only lives on surfaces for a matter of hours to days, according to an April 2020 report in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Another reason to wash your mask is to ward off breakouts, according the Mayo Clinic. By giving your mask a good cleaning after wearing it, you’ll remove the skin cells and oil that can cling to the mask and potentially cause skin irritations and acne. Opt for a fragrance-free detergent when you wash your mask, per the Cleveland Clinic.

Mistake 3: Reusing a Disposable Mask

You can buy stacks of non-medical grade face masks online for everyday use. They’re lightweight and disposable, but are they safe to reuse?

Experts say it’s probably not a great idea. The filtering layers can degrade. The ear loops can stretch out. They get soiled.

“If they’re single use and disposable, they’re disposable after a single use,” Grabowski says. “What we don’t want is for masks to become a risk for someone.”

Mistake 4: Assuming Your Scarf or Neck Warmer Is Enough Protection

Yes, scarves and neck gaiters can cover your mouth and nose, but that doesn’t mean they offer the same protection as a mask. In fact, there’s some evidence that they might do the opposite.

In an August 2020 study published in Science Advances, researchers took a video as a person spoke in the direction of a box rigged with a laser beam and camera while wearing a face covering, then counted the number of droplets they produced. Out of 14 types of face coverings, bandanas and neck gaiters allowed the most droplets to escape, while professionally fitted N95 masks, surgical masks and cotton cloth face masks were the most successful at stopping droplets.

Gaiters in particular led to large droplets dispersing into smaller ones. Because these smaller droplets stay aloft longer, “the use of such a mask might be counterproductive,” according to the study.

Of course, this is only one small study, and more research needs to be done before we can draw a definite conclusion. But for now, opting for a cloth or surgical mask instead of these types of face coverings seems best.

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Closet Cooking

Closet Cooking chronicles Kevin Lynch’s efforts to cook and develop recipes in his closet-sized kitchen. Kevin found cooking became his passion and obsession in his quest never to eat a boring meal again! Kevin considers it fun coming up with creative ways to serve tasty meals from a small kitchen!

Kevin has developed 2,600 recipes since he began the site. He gives pride of place to a Top Recipes section where he highlights his 100 most popular recipes.

Some of his recent posts include:

  • Shawarma Seasoning
  • Sicilian Pizza
  • Strawberry Lemonade Bars
  • Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella Balls
  • Pan Seared Balsamic Strawberry Chicken and Brie

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Budget Bytes

Budget Bytes aims to provide delicious recipes designed for small budgets. It recognizes that we can’t all afford to use expensive ingredients and cook recipes that take hours to prepare. It tries to cater to those with “Instagram taste and a peanut butter budget.”

Budget Bytes is the creation of Beth Moncel. She wants to help people shop, cook, and eat smart. She provides numerous recipes on her blog, along with their cost analysis, preparation time, alternative preparations, and step-by-step photos of each recipe.

Beth has developed six principles to keep her grocery budget low and reduce waste:

  1. Plan your meals
  2. Use ingredients wisely
  3. Portion control
  4. Don’t be afraid of leftovers
  5. The freezer is your friend
  6. Shop wisely

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101 Cookbooks

Heidi Swanson’s 101 Cookbooks focuses on providing healthy everyday recipes. It currently features over 700 vegetarian, whole food, vegan, and instant pot recipes.

Heidi began the blog in 2003 when she looked at her vast collection of cookbooks and decided that it was time to stop collecting and start cooking. She was sick of repeating the same recipes over and over again. She felt it was time to explore the books in her collection.

As Heidi worked her way through her cookbooks, her skills and cooking knowledge improved, and she built her own repertoire of successful recipes.

Nowadays, Heidi chooses and writes about recipes that intersect her life, travels, and everyday interests. Often these are from her cookbook collection, but sometimes not.

Posts/recipes can be organized by categories (e.g., whole grain, vegan, pasta, chocolate, etc), by ingredients, or by season.

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Smitten Kitchen

Smitten Kitchen features delectable images of meals demanding to be eaten. Therefore should be no surprise that Smitten Kitchen has found great popularity with serious food fans.

Smitten Kitchen summarizes itself as being “Fearless cooking from a tiny kitchen in New York City.” It was created by Deb Perelman who obsessed with the intricacies of food and cooking. As she says on her About page, she loves being able to wake and cook whatever she feels like that day.

The recipes are the heart of this site. There is a particular emphasis on stepped-up comfort foods. The site also includes numerous tutorials on topics as diverse as how to poach an egg and how to make tart doughs that don’t shrink up on you.

Deb makes a point of only using commonly available ingredients.

The Recipes page splits all of the site’s recipes up by type, with additional subdivisions for Fruit, Meat, Sweets, and Vegetables.

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Minimalist Baker

Minimalist Baker is one of those sites where the name says it all. It shares plant-based recipes requiring 10 ingredients or less, 1 bowl, or 30 minutes or less to prepare. It publishes a new recipe every three days, with a mixture of savory and sweet dishes.

Dana Shultz is the recipe developer and blogger. She has a deep love for recipe experimentation and food photography. She has even expanded into creating a Essentials of Building a Great Food Blog Course.

Despite the use of the word “baker” in the site’s name, it covers many different types of (predominantly vegan) cooking – sweets, entrees, breakfast, snacks, sides, and beverages.

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