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Healthy Eating by Shelby Shelby

What is Prediabetes?

                Did you know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 1 in every 3 American adults has prediabetes? The CDC also estimates about 90% of adults with prediabetes don’t know they have it. Let’s take a moment to set the record straight on prediabetes.

                Prediabetes is a health condition where blood sugar levels are elevated, but not to the level of someone with diabetes. Prediabetes is caused by insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone made by your body to keep your blood sugar levels in the normal range. When you have prediabetes, your body doesn’t respond normally to insulin and your blood sugar can get higher than normal. When this problem persists type 2 diabetes can occur.

Think of prediabetes as a warning sign. Prediabetes puts you at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

The good news is that prediabetes can treated. If diagnosed with prediabetes, your doctor may recommend you change your lifestyle. Regular physical activity and a healthy diet can start to reverse prediabetes, lowering your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week—that’s just 30 minutes of activity most days of the week. If needed, weight loss can help prevent the progression of prediabetes into type 2 diabetes. Even just a small amount of weight loss, 5% to 7% of your body weight, can make the difference—that’s 10-14 lbs of weight loss for a person weighing 200 lbs. Your doctor may also recommend medication to help improve your prediabetes.

November is American Diabetes Month, the perfect time to evaluate if you are at risk for developing prediabetes or diabetes. How can you see if you are at risk? First, you can visit your doctor annually and ask about your risk for prediabetes. Your doctor can test you for prediabetes and give you personalized advice. You can also take the CDC’s Prediabetes Screening Test to see if you are at a high risk of developing prediabetes: https://www.cdc.gov/prediabetes/takethetest/ . Don’t be part of the 90% of Americans with prediabetes that are caught unaware.

Below are a few tests your doctor may run to test for prediabetes.

Test

Normal Range

Prediabetes Range

Diabetes Range

Hemoglobin A1C

<5.7%

5.7%-6.4%

>6.4%

Fasting Plasma Glucose

<100 mg/dL

100-125 mg/dL

>126 mg/dL

2-hour Postprandial 75g Oral Glucose Tolerance Test

<140 mg/dL

140-199 mg/dL

>200 mg/dL

Adapted from ADA Diagnostic Criteria

 

 

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