For this National Diabetes Month (November), we’re turning the discussion toward prediabetes and preventing diabetes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 88 million American adults have prediabetes. That’s more than one in three people. Here’s the kicker though: most people don’t even know they have it.
Here’s what you need to know about prediabetes.
Prediabetes 101: Risk factors
With prediabetes, blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not concerning enough to be diagnosed as Type 2 diabetes yet. You can have prediabetes for many years without clear symptoms, which is why it often goes undetected.
Individuals who are overweight, over 45 years of age or have an immediate family member (e.g. parent or sibling) with Type 2 diabetes are at increased risk for prediabetes.
Other risk factors include:
Limited physical activity (less than three times a week)
Having a history of gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby over nine pounds
Having polycystic ovary syndrome
Additionally, African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and some Asian Americans are at higher risk.
Get checked for prediabetes
Anyone can get tested for prediabetes using a simple blood sugar test. If you have any prediabetes risk factors, talk with your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested at your next visit.
You can also take a 60-second Type 2 diabetes risk test with the American Diabetes Association for a basic risk assessment. Note that you can take this test with a family member or loved one in mind (e.g. aging parent or spouse) to help jumpstart a conversation about their risk for diabetes.
Additionally, the CDC provides a National Diabetes Prevention Program that has proven to reduce risk of Type 2 diabetes by as much as 58% —higher if you’re age 60 or older.
By identifying prediabetes early, you can take action and make a huge difference in lowering your risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.
Are you prepared to respond if a family member, friend, or coworker has a diabetic emergency?
To learn more about how to respond in a medical emergency, find a Training Center in your area.