August 20, 2021
Whether you have a sweet tooth or simply enjoy a sugar rush, you could be one of the approximately 88 American adults (more than 1 in 3) who have prediabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Of those with prediabetes, more than 84 percent do not know they have it. Prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.
You can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes with proven, achievable lifestyle changes such as losing a small amount of weight and becoming more physically active.
“Prediabetes puts you at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke,” said Jose Echeverria, MD, ARH Internal Medicine, Harlan, Ky. “That is why it is important to see your healthcare provider and have your blood sugar tested at least once a year.”
Unfortunately, you can have prediabetes for years but have no clear symptoms, so it often goes undetected until serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes occur. If you have any of following risk factors for prediabetes, please call your healthcare provider and schedule an appointment:
- Being overweight
- Being 45 years or older
- Having a parent, brother or sister with type 2 diabetes
- Being physically active less than 3 times a week
- Ever having gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or giving birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
- Having polycystic ovary syndrome (one of the most common causes of female infertility; those with this syndrome—their bodies can make insulin but can’t use it effectively)
If your blood test confirms you have prediabetes, consider joining the CDC-recognized National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) lifestyle change program to learn how to make lasting lifestyle changes to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Go to this link to learn more about their program: www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/index.html
Through this program you will learn how to take small, manageable steps that will help you choose healthy foods and physical activities that work in your daily life. A trained lifestyle coach can teach you how to manage stress, stay motivated and solve problems that can slow your progress.
If you need to find a healthcare provider, go to www.arh.org or call your local ARH hospital.