Do you know if you’re prediabetic?
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, which means it’s time to get proactive about learning how to prevent diabetes and what prediabetes could mean for you. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that amongst Americans age 20 and older, only 10% of those with prediabetes know they have it.
What is pre-diabetes?
Prediabetes is a condition when your blood glucose level is higher than normal but not high enough to indicate diabetes. Glucose is a form of sugar your body uses for energy. Too much glucose in your blood can harm your body over time. Most people with prediabetes don’t have any symptoms, which makes it important to visit your doctor and get your blood glucose levels checked. For those who have prediabetes, these symptoms mean a risk of developing type 2 diabetes if left untreated or lifestyle changes aren’t made.
How can you prevent type 2 diabetes?
The good news is that you can manage your risk for type 2 diabetes. Small steps make a big difference and can help you live a longer, healthier life. If you are at high risk, your first step is to see your doctor to see if additional testing is needed.
Changes that can help prevent diabetes include losing weight to get to a near-normal weight range, daily exercise and eating healthy balanced meals. In addition to helping fend off diabetes, changing your lifestyle can also help defend your body against heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and several other chronic conditions.
Who should get tested?
The American Diabetes Association recommends routine blood sugar testing in people at high risk for developing diabetes. These include:
- Anyone 45 years of age and up
- People who are overweight and who also have one of these diabetes risk factors:
- Little to no physical activity
- Family history of diabetes
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- A previous diagnosis of heart disease
- A previous diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome
- Anyone who has had Gestational diabetes
- Anyone who has delivered a baby weighing more than nine pounds
- People who sleep more than nine hours or less than six hours
By making healthy lifestyle choices now, you can help prevent prediabetes and its advancement to type 2 diabetes before it’s too late. Simple choices regarding eating healthy foods, becoming more physically active and shedding excess weight can make a difference in your life and for those you love. Talk with your physician about how your medical history and if you should be tested for prediabetes.
Photo Credit: Oskar Annermarken