Prediabetes is a condition in which your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be Type 2 diabetes. Simple lifestyle changes can reverse prediabetes and prevent it from becoming Type 2 diabetes.
More than 1 in 3 American adults have prediabetes. And 90% of people with prediabetes don’t know they have it. Could this be you?
If you have prediabetes you are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. And it is a silent illness. You can have prediabetes for years but have no clear symptoms. That means prediabetes can go undetected until serious health problems show up.
What can you do to prevent prediabetes?
Talk to your doctor about getting a blood sugar test if you have any of the following risk factors for being prediabetic:
- Being overweight
- Being 45 or older
- Having a parent, brother or sister with type 2 diabetes
- Having physical activity fewer than 3 times a week
- Race and ethnicity are also a factor. Prediabetes is more likely among African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, Pacific Islanders and some Asian Americans
You can also take a test from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by clicking on the following link: Could you have Prediabetes?
This test will ask you your age, if a relative has diabetes, if you have ever been diagnosed with high blood pressure, your race, if you are physically active, your sex, and a few more questions. The results of the test can be shared with your doctor and you can get their advice on what to do next.
The CDC will also give you information on where to find an in-person class to prevent diabetes near you. You can select your city/state on the Find a Program page.
How to tell if you are prediabetic?
The best way to know where you stand with diabetes is to get a simple blood test. It can measure your blood sugar average over the past 3 months. If the number is greater than the established normal levels, you may be prediabetic. Talk to your doctor about any changes you may have had in hunger, eating patterns, being very thirsty, or needing to urinate more frequently.
Is prediabetes reversible?
Yes, prediabetes can be reversed. A landmark study at the National Institutes of Health found that even modest lifestyle changes in overweight participants, like increased physical activity and changes in diet, reduced their risk for prediabetes (Note: the participants in the study experienced weight loss results around 7%).