Prediabetes is a condition that affects millions of Americans each year, but few have heard of it. As a precursor to diabetes, knowing if you have prediabetes can provide valuable health insight and even add years of healthy living to your life.
March 9, 2017
According to the CDC, 86 million Americans - more than 1 in 3 – have a condition known as prediabetes. What's more, 90% of people with prediabetes don't even know they have it. Despite the rising incidence of this disease (1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year), education and diagnosis are still sorely lacking, giving diabetes free reign to wreak havoc on our health as the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. But we can help make a change! Read on to discover the facts and learn what you can do to stay healthy.
Prediabetes occurs when your blood glucose level (blood sugar level) is higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as full-blown diabetes.
Your body begins to have trouble producing and/or processing insulin, resulting in a buildup of glucose in your blood. This condition is sometimes referred to as “borderline” diabetes, and it’s a warning sign that you’re on your way to a very serious disease.
The difficulty is, prediabetes generally has no signs or symptoms; it can be diagnosed by your doctor with a simple blood test (either a fasting plasma glucose test, an oral glucose tolerance test, or a haemoglobin A1C test) but there isn’t a list of definitive symptoms that will alert you as to when you should be tested. Instead, the best thing to do is familiarize yourself with the risk factors, and if any apply, follow up with your doctor to learn more.
Researchers aren’t exactly sure what causes the insulin process to go awry in some people. However, there are several risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing prediabetes. They are:
As mentioned above, it can be difficult to diagnose prediabetes without a blood test, however, there are some resources that you might find helpful, including this handy site from the CDC.
DoIHavePrediabetes.org provides a whole host of information on the condition, the risks, and lifestyle tips to help you take control of your health. Take the Risk Test today, it will only take a minute and may make a huge difference in how you live your life!
If you do have risk factors for prediabetes, or show some of the signs (as determined by your doctor), it’s not too late to turn things around.
Think of prediabetes as a fork in the road: ignore it, and your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes goes up. But heed the warning signs and through a few small lifestyle changes, you can turn your prognosis around.
Implement the following changes into your current lifestyle and you’ll be well on your way to a drastic reduction in the odds of developing diabetes (science says it’s true):
Dietitians at Home provides in-home medical nutrition therapy for patients suffering from diabetes and other diseases. Contact us today for a personalized nutrition plan that will improve your quality of life and help you reach your health and wellness goals.
Unfortunately, amputation rates are higher in people with diabetes. The good news, though, is that rates have decreased thanks to better foot care and the use of diabetic shoes.
Kelley Reeser, R.D. L.D.N. C.D.E.
December 6, 2017