Risk Factors for Prediabetes
There are currently more than 34 million Americans living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. That’s a staggering statistic, however, it’s dwarfed by the number of people who have reached the prediabetic stage.
What is Prediabetes?
Prediabetes refers to a condition in which an individual’s blood sugar levels have become elevated but still haven’t reached the level of a full-fledged diabetes diagnosis. It’s estimated that roughly 88 million Americans over the age of 20 are living with prediabetes. That’s about one out of every three adults in The United States. To make matters worse, only a handful of these individuals have any clue they are facing a serious health problem. This is where the real danger lies.
Statistics show that over 84% of those currently living with prediabetes remain completely unaware of it, which also means they’re doing absolutely nothing to mitigate the serious health risks they face because a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis and the complications that come with it are likely right around the corner if nothing is done to prevent it.
We’ll give you the good news first. On the plus side, prediabetes is easily diagnosed with a simple blood test given by your physician that will measure your blood sugar level and determine whether or not you are prediabetic. In fact, it’s the same blood test used to diagnose Type 2 diabetes. If your blood sugar levels are between 141 and 199 mg/dl, you will likely receive a prediabetes diagnosis.
Here’s the bad news. People living with prediabetes rarely experience any clear-cut signs or symptoms of the condition, which is why the vast majority of these individuals don’t know they’ve developed it. The fact is most people are not going to rush off to the doctor unless they believe something is wrong. So, while diagnosing prediabetes is easy and painless, most people put off getting the necessary blood test until they’re already experiencing the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes. At this point, it’s no longer a diabetes prevention game. The task now turns to Type 2 diabetes management, something that might have been avoided with earlier prediabetes detection.
If you’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, testing and controlling your blood sugar is the key to avoiding serious diabetes related health complications, including heart disease, nerve damage, kidney disease, vision problems and other conditions. At Diabetic Warehouse, we can help with a complete selection of diabetic supplies and equipment at prices up to 65% less than stores, pharmacies and other suppliers. Start saving today at www.diabeticwarehouse.org.
Pre-diabetes Risk Factors
While prediabetes rarely presents any telltale signs, there are a number of factors known to elevate a person’s risk of developing the condition. These include:
– Family history of diabetes
– Being overweight or obese
– Level of physical activity
– Body Mass Index (a combined measurement of weight and height)
Prediabetes Risk Test
The American Diabetes Association (ADA), along with support from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Medical Association (AMA), has created a fantastically easy online Prediabetes Risk Test.
The test asks a series of simple questions about your family history, general health, and lifestyle and will instantly score your risk for developing prediabetes. Is it 50%? 20%? 80%? The Prediabetes Risk Test gives you the answer on the spot and the entire process can be completed in just a few minutes.
Plus, you can email or print your results to share with your doctor who is the only one who can diagnose prediabetes. If the test tells you that you are at high risk, get those results to your doctor and ask for that simple blood test to determine whether or not you are, in fact, prediabetic.
Okay, you’re prediabetic. Now what?
Knowing you’re prediabetic is actually good news. It means you’re among the few who find out early enough to turn the tide and avoid a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
If there’s one positive aspect of prediabetes is that it can often be reversed with the proper lifestyle and dietary changes. Of course, the first step to any treatment program is to sit down with your doctor or an endocrinologist should your doctor refer you to one. Remember, never take things into your own hands with a new prediabetes diagnosis. Rest assured, your doctor and care team will provide you with a clear path and plan forward that gives you the best possible chance to avoid a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
What you can expect
Some risk factors for prediabetes, such as family history, age and ethnicity are out of your control. But some of the biggest contributors are lifestyle related and that means you’re in charge of how to handle them. You can bet that your doctor and care team will recommend some pretty substantial dietary changes –eating plenty of vegetables, lean proteins, fiber-rich foods, and limiting sugars and carbohydrates. Not only is this diet helpful in lowering blood sugar, it can also help you lose excess weight, one of the biggest risk factors for prediabetes.
Your doctor will also likely recommend a fitness routine. If it’s been some time since you’ve been active, start slowly and gradually work your way up to more vigorous activities. Before you know it, you’ll hit The ADA recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week, which will help you lower blood sugar, lose weight, and keep your blood pressure in check.
Prediabetes can be a fresh start
Nobody hopes to be diagnosed with prediabetes. But when you find out sooner rather than later, it presents an opportunity to make the changes necessary to gain control over your blood sugar and your life. Put it this way, if you don’t take care of your prediabetes you will soon find yourself facing the challenges and health concerns that come with managing Type 2 diabetes. So, if you think you might be at risk, give it the one-two punch. One, take the Prediabetes Risk Test and, two, see your doctor about getting a blood test to find out for sure whether or not you have developed prediabetes.
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Diabetic Warehouse is a trusted supplier of diabetes care products and accessories. For more information and to explore a complete range of products, including glucose meters and test strips, insulin syringes, pen needles, continuous glucose monitoring systems, and more, visit www.diabeticwarehouse.org.